Preventing Pedestrian Deaths with Optical Illusions

Optical Illusion

Pedestrian deaths have not decreased in recent years, despite expectations that they might because of a general down-trend in traffic fatalities. From 2003 through 2012, 47,025 persons on foot died across our nation. These deaths represented 12.3 percent of all traffic fatalities over the decade. But in 2012 alone, 15 percent of all traffic fatalities were pedestrians. Actual walking traffic deaths in 2010 were 4,280; but by 2011, the number had increased to 4,432. It increased again in 2012 — to 4,743. In a more recent report spanning 2005 through 2014, Maryland ranked 15th among all states for pedestrian danger, with total pedestrian deaths of 1,053 resulting in a Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI) of 77.8. Florida was No. 1 in pedestrian danger, with a PDI of 177 and 5,142 fatalities. (Higher PDI numbers mean greater danger.) Focusing locally, the Baltimore-Columbia-Towson metro area ranked 55th in pedestrian danger out of 104 metro areas, with 470 deaths and a PDI of 65.7. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL, was first, with a PDI of 283.1 and 165 deaths. For all of these statistics, the age group most at risk was 65 and over. Technology to the Rescue Advances in technology have brought some possible[…..]

Crosswalks: How Safe Are You?

Maryland Crosswalk Accident Lawyer

Crosswalks can give us an inflated sense of security because we believe that cars will automatically stop when we are standing in one. In many locations, the law says that cars are supposed to stop for persons in a crosswalk. In marked crosswalks in Maryland, that is the law. But other situations exist where vehicles in our state have the right of way. Maryland Pedestrians in Danger The year 2016 saw eight pedestrian deaths in Montgomery County and 16 in Prince George’s County. From 2005 through 2014, our state reported 1,053 pedestrian deaths. Nationally, the Governors Highway Safety Association stated that the first half of 2016 registered an estimated 11 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities over 2015. Maryland is ranked 15th in the U.S. when it comes to pedestrian dangers. Among the U.S. metro areas, Baltimore was listed as the 55th most dangerous city for pedestrians, while nearby Washington, D.C., was 49th. Crosswalk Laws in Maryland A pedestrian’s right of way in Maryland crosswalks is partially addressed in state law section 21-502; the section does not cover situations where a traffic control signal is operating or where a tunnel or overhead crossing is in place. What 21-502 does address is[…..]

Watching Traffic Like a HAWK

Earlier in 2017, the Maryland state legislature was considering bills that would have increased safety for bicyclists and pedestrians in our state, calling for special traffic signals where trails intersect state highways. On such roads, vehicles often travel faster than 45 mph in the areas with crossings used by both pedestrians and cyclists. One problematic area is the intersection of Veirs Mill Road and Turkey Branch Parkway in Montgomery County. Two bicyclists have been fatally struck at that intersection recently: Frank Towers, in December 2015, and Mauricio Osorio, in July 2016. Unfortunately, all the bills died in legislative committee during March 2017. Those who advocated for the bills believe that the state of Maryland is shortchanging safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. Bicyclists Are No Match The use of bicycles, especially as commuter vehicles, has been growing in popularity. But it’s no contest when it comes to a crash involving a car or truck and a bicycle—those on bikes have virtually no protection. Even for cyclists wearing helmets, about three-fourths of serious injuries and deaths are due to head and brain trauma. An increase in bicycle usage plus heavier vehicular traffic means that bicyclist fatalities have been going up—they doubled from[…..]

UMD College Student Pedestrian Accidents

One stretch of Route 1 in College Park, Maryland, has become deadly for University of Maryland students trying to cross the four-lane highway. Within the past ten months there have been four serious pedestrian traffic accidents there, two of them fatal, prompting the President of the University to write an online letter to the community on April 23, 2014, asking for suggestions on how to make the area safer. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the United States there is one crash-related pedestrian death every 2 hours and a pedestrian injury every 8 minutes. Oftentimes the accident involves alcohol use, by either the driver or the pedestrian. Here’s how the most recent UMD accidents occurred: On Friday, January 17, 2014, 22-year-old Cory Hubbard was crossing Baltimore Avenue at U.S. 1 near Knox Road around 2 a.m. when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver, who eventually turned himself in. Hubbard was not in a crosswalk. News accounts at the time said he had been drinking in one of the nearby neighborhood bars and was walking back to his car. On Friday, April 11, 2014, 23-year-old Carlos Pacanins was killed at the same intersection around 10:30 p.m.[…..]