Six women were struck by a car on Sunday, making it the second reported pedestrian accident to occur this Memorial Day weekend.
According to WCVB.com, the women, in their 20s, were walking along Beach Road in Orleans when they were hit by a Honda Civic. All were transported to Cape Cod Hospital with serious injuries. This was the second accident to occur on Sunday: an elderly pedestrian was tragically struck and fatally injured while attempting to cross Route 3A in Hingham just around noontime near the entrance of Lincoln Plaza. Police say the man was standing on a sidewalk near an MBTA bus stop and possibly fell or stepped into the street when he was hit. Officials are preliminarily calling both cases accidents.
According to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 4,280 pedestrians were killed as a result of motor-vehicle crashes and 70,000 were injured in pedestrian accidents in 2010. The number of pedestrian fatalities in 2010 accounted for 13% of all motor-vehicle accident fatalities and the number of injuries accounted for 3% of the total amount of individuals injured in a traffic accidents.
The CDC estimates that over the next 24 hours, on average, 445 people will be treated in an emergency department for traffic-related pedestrian injuries. In the next 2 hours, on average, one pedestrian will die from injuries in a traffic crash (CDC.com).
Pedestrian accidents occur for a variety of reasons, and may be attributed to not only the actions of a motor-vehicle operator, but the actions of a pedestrian as well. Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding and reckless driving, and distracted driving by motor-vehicle operators are the most common factors that cause pedestrian accidents. About 20% of drivers involved in pedestrian accidents fled the scene according to the NHTSA. But, in some cases, pedestrians’ actions can result in accidents. Alcohol consumption (leading to impaired judgment) is a prominent factor, as well as failing to follow road signals, such as crosswalk signals, and improperly crossing intersections.
Summertime, is an especially busy traffic season throughout the Commonwealth, where traveling on foot or by bike is more common. It is imperative for pedestrians to do everything they can to protect themselves from an accident. This means walking on sidewalks whenever possible, looking both ways when crossing the street, and crossing at designated crosswalks. Though motor vehicles and bicycles are supposed to yield to pedestrians, that doesn’t always happen. It is always important to look twice before crossing a street, and make sure you are doing everything you can to protect yourself. Additionally, as a motor-vehicle operator, it is imperative for drivers to be diligent of their surroundings and vulnerable parties traveling on foot. Make sure that if you are traveling through a densely populated area to remain undistracted and alert of pedestrians that may suddenly cross the street or act unpredictably.
At the law offices of Altman & Altman our experienced Personal Injury Lawyers have been handling both pedestrian and car accident cases for nearly 50 years. Being involved in a motor-vehicle accident, especially if you were a pedestrian, can be extremely traumatic. According to Massachusetts law, parties involved in motor-vehicle accidents must stop and exchange information, or wait for police to arrive. Parties who flee the scene are subject to criminal charges. When a responsible party does flee the scene, it not only makes it harder for investigators to identify the perpetrator, but also for the injured victim to receive compensation for his or her injuries.
If you or a loved one were the victim of a pedestrian accident, call one of our attorneys to schedule a meeting to discuss pursuing a case. Our attorneys are available around the clock to assist you with your case and answer any questions you have. Initial consultations are free, and you may contact us by email or by calling 617-492-3000.