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Injuries to Pedestrians Often Preventable

The city of Boston is known for its aggressive drivers. There are a lot of people in a small area, with many of them in a hurry to get where they’re going. One of the unfortunate consequences of aggressive driving is motor vehicle collisions with pedestrians.

A recent look at Boston-area newspapers shows a spate of these accidents:

  • Danvers police cited a young driver for a pedestrian accident that sent a 64-year-old man to a Boston hospital with serious injuries. The driver, a high school student, was ticketed for failure to yield to a pedestrian.
  • In Revere, a man trying to cross a highway died after he was struck by a car. No identification was found on the body of the man, who appeared to be in his 30s.
  • In Belmont, a minivan struck a woman walking across the street in the late afternoon. A driver who witnessed the event said he was driving behind the van and honked his horn to warn the van’s driver of the pedestrian. Another witness said the pedestrian walked across the street without looking for traffic. The driver was cited for speeding and failing to yield to a pedestrian.
  • A 45-year-old man was in critical condition at Boston Medical Center after being struck by a car in Dorchester. Passersby told police the man had been asking for spare change prior to the accident. A police spokesperson said he walked out between two cars into the street.
  • In late August, a 15-year-old girl was hit and killed as she tried to cross a street in Marblehead. The cause of the accident was being investigated as the town mourned its loss.

Crossing Safely

Safety experts warn drivers and pedestrians alike to take simple precautions when encountering each other:

  • Drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians crossing streets in most situations, regardless of whether they are in a crosswalk.
  • Pedestrians must be especially careful at intersections; many pedestrian accidents occur when turning drivers fail to yield to pedestrians crossing the street.
  • Pedestrians should try to cross streets in designated crosswalks, always looking both ways before crossing.
  • Pedestrians should increase their visibility at night by wearing reflective clothing and carrying a flashlight.

A Look at the Numbers

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics tell a grim story of pedestrian accidents:

  • 4,654 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes in 2007.
  • A pedestrian is killed every 113 minutes in the U.S. and is injured in a traffic crash every eight minutes.
  • 70,000 pedestrians were hurt in traffic crashes in 2007.
  • 73 percent of pedestrian fatalities are in urban areas; 77 percent are at non-intersection locations; 67 percent occur at night; and 90 percent in normal weather.

Get the Help You Need After an Accident

Unfortunately, even after taking extra precautions, pedestrians can still suffer personal injuries as the result of someone’s inattention or other negligence. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a pedestrian accident, speak with a personal injury lawyer who can advise you of your rights and possible compensation due you.