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Maryland a dangerous state for pedestrians

Many times when we think about what it means to be involved in a car accident, we think about two vehicles colliding or someone rolling an SUV onto its side by going too fast. However, Maryland appears to be one of the worst areas in when it comes to car accidents involving pedestrians.

According to a Governors Highway Safety Association study, Maryland is one of only four states, including the District of Columbia, where pedestrians are involved in more than 20 percent of traffic fatalities. Similarly, Maryland is one of only a few states with pedestrian fatality rate of more than two per 100,000 residents.

The reasons behind this high fatality rate may be numerous, but some experts point to geography as one important factor. Since Maryland is largely urban, there are more changes for pedestrians to encounter city traffic. Another factor may be cultural or regional attitudes about driving and pedestrians. While in some areas, it may be the norm to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk, in other areas pedestrians are expected to dodge traffic if they want to cross a road.

Needless to say, the collision of car with a pedestrian will almost certainly produce serious and life-threatening injuries. In fact, since 1999 Maryland has had between 91 and 116 pedestrian deaths each year. For their part, authorities in Baltimore are said to be investing in additional safeguards including more crossing lights and the repainting of crosswalks.

If you or someone you know has been injured by a car accident, either as a pedestrian or as a passenger, it may be worth getting in touch with an attorney. If your injuries call for financial compensation, you have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit before your claim becomes time barred.

Source: The Baltimore Sun, Maryland has a pedestrian problem, Michael Dresser 1/23/11

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