In 2008, 75 of 364 vehicle-related fatalities in Massachusetts were pedestrian deaths. In addition, Massachusetts Health and Human Services also reports that there are approximately 11 deaths and more than 1300 injuries to pedestrians between the age of 5 and 18, and that most of these events happen between the hours of 3:00 and 5:00 PM.
The United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines a pedestrian as “any person on foot; walking, running, jogging, hiking, [or] in a wheelchair; sitting, or lying down.”
How You Can Help Prevent Pedestrian Accidents
Everyone is a pedestrian at some point in their day, whether it is walking to or from the MBTA to the office, walking from the car into a supermarket, or taking the family pet on an evening stroll. Pedestrians of Massachusetts can help reduce the aforementioned statistics by taking the following precautions:
- Avoid being a distracted pedestrian. Do not attempt to walk while looking down at a phone, map, or into an item such as a purse. Stop on the sidewalk to complete those types of actions.
- When walking at night, wear brightly colored or reflective clothing to help ensure that motorists can see you.
- Always double check when looking both ways before crossing the street.
- Help educate your children about the importance of only crossing with crossing guards when coming to or from school, the importance of waiting for the correct walking signal, and not running to retrieve items that may have fallen into the roadway. You might also consider becoming a member of the Parent-Teacher Association at your child’s school and working together with other families to host an educational event, or even writing to your congressperson to bring awareness to the importance of school-age pedestrian safety.
The Damages Caused by Pedestrian Accidents
The fine for jaywalking in the State of Massachusetts is nominal but the damage caused by a pedestrian accident can devistating. Injuries resulting from pedestrian accidents may include broken bones, head or brain trauma, spinal injury, and even death. Each of these may lead to thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost earning, pain and suffering, and endless hours of doctors’ appointments.
Remember the aspect of comparative negligence – if you are knowingly walking against a traffic signal, are intoxicated, looking down at a cellular phone, or other similar actions, you may at higher risk of injury, and you may not be eligible to receive the full amount of reimbursement for medical bills. Avoid those types of scenarios by adhering to the safety tips listed above or learning more at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Everyone is a Pedestrian” website.
Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
Boston Attorney Neil Burns has been representing personal injury clients since 1985. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, please call 617-227-7423 for a free consultation. Attorney Burns is a passionate, determined, and aggressive attorney who will work to get a victim what he or she deserves. There is no cost unless your case is won!