Recently, a Las Vegas tourist noted the exceptional lack of jaywalking within that city. He found it ironic that a city known for casual lawlessness and an obvious lack of sobriety maintained such a respectful relationship between pedestrians and drivers. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Maryland, a state known for pedestrian accidents despite its relatively charming and friendly image.
According to a report released by the Governors High Safety Association, Maryland is one of only four states in which over 20 percent of fatalities on public roads involve a pedestrian. In fact, more than 2 out of every 100,000 Maryland residents die after being hit by a vehicle in any given year.
Over the last 12 years, between 91 and 116 pedestrians died in Maryland each year. A slight decline in pedestrian deaths between 2009 and 2010 did little to mitigate the concerns of authorities.
James Hedlund, who headed the study conducted by the Governors High Safety Association, said that Maryland’s status as a densely urbanized state gives pedestrians more exposure to vehicles, resulting in the disturbing pedestrian death statistics. Hedlund also noted that cultural aspects come in to play. In other states, cars are more likely to yield to pedestrians even when they don’t have the right of way. In Maryland, alternatively, drivers often seem not to care.
Larger cities in Maryland, especially Baltimore, are known for drivers with careless attitudes towards pedestrians. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see Baltimore drivers speeding at up to 50 mph through marked crosswalks even as pedestrians attempt to cross.
Whether a driver who injures a pedestrian is careless or simply callous, experienced personal injury attorneys are able to help that pedestrian receive compensation.
Source: Baltimore Sun, “Maryland has a pedestrian problem,” Michael Dresser, 1/23/2011