Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

Going for a walk is the healthiest thing that many of us do all day. Fresh air, exercise, and endorphins are all essential to physical and mental health. But walking isn’t without risks, especially in cities and high-traffic areas. As the number of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and bicycles on city streets increases, so does the risk of pedestrian injury accidents. If you are injured in a collision with one of these vehicles while walking, should you sue?

This is a question our firm receives frequently, some of the things to consider is of course is the severity of the injury. Also, if you will miss time from work? If you medical expenses will be ongoing? How much this accident will impact your life now and in the future? These questions and many others should be considered when deciding whether of not to file a lawsuit.

Struck by a Motor Vehicle?

When a pedestrian is struck by a car, truck, or motorcycle, legal liability will depend on whether or not the motor vehicle driver was negligent. How can you illustrate driver negligence? If it can be proven that the driver was speeding, failing to obey traffic signals, or distracted or intoxicated, you have a good chance of obtaining compensation for any injuries that were a direct result of the accident. How can you prove these things? It’s not always easy, but detailed information, witness testimony, police reports, and photographs can help your case immensely. Photograph the scene of the accident and any injuries you sustained from multiple angles, and do the same with property damage to the vehicle and any surrounding property.

Struck by a Bicycle?

Although not usually as serious as motor vehicle-pedestrian collisions, bicycle-pedestrian collisions can still result in injuries. As cycling grows in popularity – for much the same reasons as walking – so do accidents involving bikes and pedestrians. Similar to collisions involving motor vehicles, injured pedestrians must show negligence on the part of the cyclist to have a successful claim. If a cyclist was disobeying traffic signs or signals, intoxicated, or distracted due to texting or talking on the phone, you may be able to show that his or her negligence caused the accident. Continue reading

There were 4,735 pedestrian deaths from traffic crashes in the United States in 2013.  On average, this comes to one crash-related pedestrian fatality every 2 hours.  Excluding fatalities, there were 150,000 pedestrians who required medical attention after being injured in traffic crashes in 2013.  There are certain risk factors that contribute to these numerous pedestrian deaths resulting from traffic accidents.  Being a child or an older adult puts you at a greater risk of being a pedestrian injured in a car accident.  Older adults, ages 65 and older, make up 19 percent of all pedestrian deaths and about 10 percent of pedestrians injured in 2013.  Also looking at data from 2013, 20 percent of children under the age of 14 who were killed in traffic accidents were pedestrians.  Another risk factor, which is not surprising, is alcohol.  Alcohol was involved in almost half of traffic crashes in which there was a pedestrian death, including alcohol consumption by drivers and by pedestrians.  In the cases where alcohol was consumed, 34 percent of fatal crashes involved a pedestrian who had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above or at the legal limit and 15 percent involved motorists with a BAC above or at the legal limit.  Speed is also a risk factor.  As vehicle speed increases, the probability of a pedestrian being hit also increases, and the severity of the injury worsens.  It has been found that most pedestrian deaths transpire in urban, non-intersection areas when it is dark out.

It is essential that both motorists and pedestrians exercise reasonable care while traveling on or near the roads.  Although in many situations, the negligent party may seem obvious, courts assess several factors when determining negligence.  Motorists are required by law to exercise reasonable care while driving.  Operating without reasonable care is considered negligence.  Motorists who are found negligent may owe damages for personal and property damages that resulted from their negligence.  Several common factors that have been deemed negligent are distracted driving, speeding, not yielding for pedestrians who have the right of way, violating traffic signs or signals, failing to signal when completing a turn, ignoring weather or traffic conditions, and operating while using drugs or alcohol.  Drivers also have a special duty of care in regards to children.  In areas such as school zones, parks, and thickly settled residential areas where children are likely to be found, drivers need to exercise even greater caution than they usually would.

However, it is not only the responsibility of the motorist to act carefully while driving.  Pedestrians must also act with reasonable care to protect their own safety.  Pedestrians can be found to have acted in contributory negligence if they did not exercise reasonable care, which may have contributed to their sustaining of their injuries.  Some common actions by pedestrians that are negligent include not waiting for the signal to walk at intersections, entering traffic and unnecessarily disrupting it, jaywalking instead of utilizing crosswalks, and darting in front of vehicles.  Continue reading


A pedestrian was struck by a duck boat in Boston on Sunday morning.  The accident occurred on the corner of Newbury and Clarendon Streets around 11:30 a.m.  Boston police said the pedestrian suffered non-life-threatening injuries but was taken to Tufts Medical Center with some head trauma.  The woman who was hit admitted that she was crossing the street against the crossing signal.  Witnesses confirmed that the duck boat had the right of way.  Police said the investigation is ongoing with no charges being filed to date.  Boston Duck Tours made a statement saying, “We are grateful to learn from police that no one was seriously injured in today’s incident.”  This is the second crash involving a duck boat in Boston in three months.  In April, 28-year-old Allison Warmuth was riding a moped near Boston Common when she was struck and killed.  Earlier this week, Warmuth’s parents were in Boston addressing lawmakers regarding adding regulation to the vehicles.  Anna Warmuth, mother of Allison, made a statement saying, “Anybody that is near them is at risk because the driver may not see them, just like the driver did not see my daughter.”

Some are going even further than requesting more regulations.  Bob Mongaluzzi, Philadelphia attorney, asks, “How many deaths will it take for cities and organizations to wake up and ban the ducks?”  Mongaluzzi has been asking this question for years, claiming the duck boats are inherently dangerous “both on land and on the water.”  He goes on to state the major hazards with the vehicles, stating, “They take up almost the entire lane of travel. They’re cumbersome. They have huge blind spots. They are built on chassis from the 1940s.”  Mongaluzzi represents the families of three people killed by duck boats dating back to 2011.  He has also uncovered more than 20 deaths involving duck boats since 1999.  He notes the first major duck boat tragedy occurred in Arkansas in 1999 killing 13 people after they were trapped beneath the canopy of a capsized duck boat and drowned.  Mongaluzzi believes that the design of the boats is an “intrinsic safety flaw.”  Aside from the sheer design of the boat being difficult to maneuver, the driver also acts as a tour guide for the vehicles.  “Having an operator who is also a tour guide, telling jokes at the same time, is an enormous distraction,” Mongaluzzi states.  After last year’s collision between a duck boat and a charter bus in Seattle that killed five and injured 50 others, Seattle enacted several new rules to make the vehicles safer, including separate tour guides on board the duck boats.  Continue reading

On June 21, two pedestrians were struck by a vehicle on Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue. Fortunately, the injuries were not life threatening. But the accident reconfirmed the need to tackle the growing problem of accidents involving pedestrians. In response to the rise in accidents, Boston’s Vision Zero effort is currently underway. Vision Zero aims to reduce to zero accidents involving motor vehicle collisions with pedestrians and bicyclists. Contact a Boston Personal Injury Lawyer Today.

Vision Zero plans to make design improvements to several roadways, but one corridor in particular, from the Massachusetts Avenue to Beacon Street, hones in on the spot of last week’s accident. At a meeting last week, city planners unveiled improvements that can be made quickly, leaving the longer-term improvements for a later date.

According to Charlotte Fleetwood, a City transportation planner, Vision Zero wants to focus on protecting the most vulnerable. “We want to understand why crashes are happening,” said Fleetwood. “We want to focus on the most vulnerable uses – the walkers and bikers. If you make the streets safer for the most vulnerable, it is safer for everyone. Pedestrian and cyclist accidents are on the rise. We had four pedestrians killed in January. Whatever the reason, that’s unacceptable.”

Massachusetts Avenue is of Special Concern

In Mayor Martin Walsh’s own words, walking and cycling on Boston’s streets “should not be a test of courage.” Unfortunately, the increase in accidents tells otherwise. Mass Ave seems to be a particularly dangerous area for pedestrians, which is the main reason Vision Zero’s task force has chosen Mass Ave as a starting point. According to residents, dangerous situations are exceedingly common along the corridor. Poorly-timed lights, heavy traffic, and impatient drivers only exacerbate the problem. “First of all, speed matters,” Fleetwood said. “One major goal is to reduce speed on the street.” According to Fleetwood, the risk of an accident at 20 mph is 18 percent, but it jumps to 77 percent at 40 mph. That’s a major difference.

Proposed improvements include creating a protected bike lane running from Huntington Avenue to Beacon Street, improving pedestrian crossings in various locations, and “daylighting” which refers to the process of building a kind of “bumper” on curbs to prevent cars from parking there. In certain locations, such as at the corner of St. Botolph and St. Stephen Streets, pedestrians who are crossing may not be visible due to parked cars at that corner.

“The changes we want to make are rapid changes,” Fleetwood said. “We want to focus on quickly, with things like markings, signal timing, flex posts, and speed radar signs.” VIsion Zero’s task force includes the Boston Fire Department, Boston Police, Boston Transportation, the Bicyclists Union, WalkBoston, and Boston EMS, among others. Continue reading

The Safer People, Safer Streets Initiative was launched by the U.S. Transportation Department to help communities develop safer walking and bicycling networks. The department is conducting research and providing new resources to pedestrians and bicyclists so that everyone can have a safer, more enjoyable experience. For example, field offices for the department are working with various transportation agencies to assess the safety of roadways across the country. As bicycling continues to rise in popularity, accidents rise right along with it. Bicycling and walking are healthy, environmentally-friendly activities, and we should encourage their growth. Let’s work together to make the roadways safer for everyone, non-motorized travelers included. Contact a Boston Bicycle Accident Lawyer Today.

Fewer People are Getting Behind the Wheel

Millennials use motorized vehicles significantly less than their Gen X and Baby Boomer counterparts. Young people drive fewer miles, use public transportation frequently, and often postpone getting their driver’s licenses. That means more people on the roads, biking and walking. In fact, annual ‘miles driven’ statistics are lower than they’ve been in decades. With ride-sharing, bike-sharing, and apps such as Uber, people are much less reliant on cars and trucks to get them from here to there. This trend is likely to continue.

The good news is, walking and bicycling are excellent forms of exercise. They also save money, and are much better for the environment than driving. The bad news? Since 2009, pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and deaths have steadily risen. Due to high populations and heavy traffic in cities, urban areas see the most accidents. In 2012, 73% of pedestrian fatalities and 69% of bicyclist fatalities occurred in urban areas. Sadly, the majority of pedestrian fatalities occur in lower-income sections of urban areas. This is often due to poorly maintained roadways, uneven walkways, and other ‘environmental’ issues that typically plague low income areas. Continue reading

Distractions aren’t just dangerous while you’re driving. Texting, emailing, and talking on your cell phone while walking can result in serious injuries. In fact, a 33-year old Indiana man recently plummeted to his death when he failed to notice the edge of a cliff in coastal California. And it’s the same story nationwide. Take a stroll through Boston any day of the week and look around. Zombie-like pedestrians seem to be on autopilot as they cross busy intersections, walk under construction scaffolding, and even push strollers, all while staring at their phone screens. Contact a Boston Injury Lawyer Today.

Distracted walking has become so dangerous that the National Security Council has recently added it to its annual injury report as a new category. There are seemingly endless videos of distracted walking accidents on the internet, typically uploaded to garner laughs. However, many accidents related to distracted walking are quite serious. Distracted pedestrians have been struck by bicyclists and motor vehicles, have walked off train platforms, and have fallen into swimming pools. Being distracted also increases your risk of being mugged, or otherwise assaulted.

Distracted Walking E.R. Visits Skyrocket

Certain municipalities have tried methods of reducing distracted walking-related accidents, such as Idaho’s no-texting ordinance at crosswalks, Delaware’s painted crosswalks, and London’s padded lampposts. However, the problem keeps growing. Technology continues to improve and cell phones come out with more features every year. Added features increase our dependency on our cell phones, and this translates to more screen time. For many of us, city-dwellers especially, walking and subway commutes are the perfect time to communicate with friends, complete work tasks, send emails, and take care of online errands. Although it may seem convenient to kill two birds with one stone, it is important to do so wisely. Always remove your eyes from the screen when you are crossing any street or intersection. Emergency room visits for distracted walking-related accidents have risen sharply in the last five years.

Distracted Walking Statistics

There are approximately 1,500 annual emergency room visits for injuries related to distracted walking.

The number of distracted walking-related emergency room visits doubled between 2005 and 2010.

Millennials ages 21-25 are most at risk of distracted walking injuries.A recent study showed that people veered off course 61% of the time when distracted by their phone.

Falls cause 80% of distracted walking injuries.

More than 50% of distracted walking accidents occur in the home.

University of Alabama at Birmingham Professor, David Schwebel, studies what is happening to the brain when a person is texting and walking. According to Schwebel, “Walking actually involves a fair amount of complexity. Our brain has to work hard to make sure we walk safely, especially near traffic. Our brain also has to work hard to text message. It has to think about who you’re reading, how to respond, how to type. Brains can only handle so much. If we give the brain too much to do, mistakes can happen.” Continue reading

This past Tuesday a Framingham man was walking along the Massachusetts Turnpike near the 117 mile marker in Natick when he was struck by a tractor trailer and killed during the early morning hours. The victim has been identified as Ramuel Raagos, aged 40 years old. Raagos was said to be walking on the westbound side of the turnpike near the service plaza prior to the accident. According to the state troopers from the Weston State Police Barracks, it was not clear at the time why Ramuel Raagos was walking alongside the interstate. The state police have said that they did not immediately find an abandoned vehicle along the route Raagos had been heading down and are unsure of why he was walking on such a dangerous road for pedestrians. Continue reading

Halloween is known not only for being the spookiest night of the year, but also the deadliest for child pedestrians. Children, according to the Safe Kids Coalition, are twice as likely to be struck and killed by a car on Halloween night than on any other night. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 30 people are killed each year on October 31-nearly triple the average number of fatal pedestrian accidents that occur everyday in America. Combine those statistics with the fact that Halloween falls on a Friday this year and add in drunk drivers, and it’s a very scary combination for parents.

The fact is, is that trick-or-treaters can be very hard to see. Halloween is one of the only holidays in which there are hordes of people outside and on the streets during dark hours. Additionally, dark-colored costumes make it particularly difficult for drivers to spot pedestrians at night, especially pint-sized pedestrians, until its too late.

Young children who are excited by the special occasion and buzzed on sugar may be more apt to dart into the road without paying attention to oncoming traffic. With this in mind, both parents and drivers on the road should exercise extra caution and take the necessary steps to prevent a tragic accident from happening.
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The U.S. Department of Transportation wants Congress to give its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the power to place restrictions on vehicle navigation applications. It also would like for the NHTSA to be able mandate changes to these devices if any of them prove too dangerous to use while driving.

According to The New York Times, although automakers support the proposed measure that would grant this authority, it is technology companies that have expressed opposition. The latter believes such a law would not be enforceable.

The DOT has been seeking to regulate map aids and other such applications. In 2013, the department issued voluntary guidelines telling automakers that no more than two seconds should be needed for anyone one interaction with a navigation system. The total time required to use such a device should take no more than 12 seconds. (The New York Times notes that when a car is moving at 60 mph, two seconds is all it needs to travel 176 feet.)

It was a chaotic scene Thursday morning when a driver slammed into three young children waiting to board a school bus on Warren Avenue in Brockton, MA. The accident happened around 8:00 Thursday morning as the children were on their way to Brookfield Elementary School. Authorities say 38-year-old Yainira Boria of Brockton failed to stop for the school bus and drove right into three young students. Witnesses saw her get out of the car, ask if the kids were okay and then speed off.

The Boston Globe reports “A school bus was approaching to pick them up so the kids ran across the street,” said Lieutenant Robert Sergio. “A car in the opposite direction hit them and took off.”

The father of one of the injured children told CBS Boston that the woman told him she did not possess a driver’s license before leaving the scene. According to CBS Boston, all three children sustained non-life threatening injuries and were treated and released from Brockton Hospital. Two of the victims, Andreia Fernandes, 8, and Larry DaSilva, 6, are neighbors and recovering at home from their injuries.
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