The Maryland Department of Transportation recently invested $1 million into furthering its plans for reducing serious injuries and traffic fatalities by the year 2030. The overall goal is to ensure the absence of deaths to pedestrians and bicyclists, which have reached a record number for traffic fatalities. As reported by CBS Baltimore, the MDOT data revealed that there were six bicyclists and 133 pedestrians involved in fatal accidents during 2018. Half of these fatalities, however, occurred within the Baltimore area alone.
An increase in the number of pedestrian traffic accidents may be a result of the rise in popularity of mobile devices and social media networking. Cell phones and mobile devices are distracting a greater number of individuals, and many states have passed hands-free driving laws. These distracted driving laws, however, do not have requirements that pedestrians must follow.
In 2018, there were 511 fatal crashes in the Old Line State. While not all of them involved a pedestrian, city officials have begun to promote safer traffic conditions throughout Baltimore as a preventative measure. Starting with Towson, upgrades are being made to street signs and signals. Pavements, bike paths and sidewalk ramps are showing noticeable improvements.
Maryland officials are now seriously concerned with the high volume of pedestrian fatalities, which represent 21% of deaths from car crashes, as reported by the Capital Gazette. A trend in an increase of pedestrian deaths over a three-year period suggests that Baltimore residents need to become more aware of the dangers of distractions.
Whether an accident is the result of a distracted motorist, pedestrian or bicyclist, the resulting injuries may be devastating enough to render an individual unable to continue with their normal activities. In the event of an unexpected death, a family may need to file a legal action to recover for the loss of a loved one and their financial support.