Maryland pedestrians are seemingly in more danger than ever before. With the number of drivers who are going beyond the speed limit, using their handheld devices while driving, consuming alcohol and drugs before getting behind the wheel, and engaging in other risky behaviors, the accident risk is significant.
While anyone can be injured or lose their lives in an auto crash, people who are not protected by a vehicle of their own are exponentially more vulnerable. This applies to pedestrians and bicyclists. The most recent statistics for the state show that 2023 might be the deadliest year for road deaths since 2007. With that, steps are being taken to make the roads safer.
Changes will be made to enhance safety
With its Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, the objective is to change five areas of state highways so pedestrians and bicyclists will face fewer risks. These roads account for one-quarter of those that need to be changed. The Maryland Department of Transportation acknowledges the challenges in the current landscape by noting the worrisome spike in fatal accidents.
Pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities in 2023 have already surpassed the total for all of 2022. Some proposals include making traffic lanes narrower, reducing speed limits, ending right turns or red lights and improving crosswalks and sidewalks.
Statistics for the past five years show just how problematic the state roads are for pedestrians and bicyclists. The way in which people drive is often the catalyst for accidents. Being attentive and watching for drivers who are exhibiting signs of distraction or intoxication, are being aggressive or are plain reckless can be helpful, but it will not avoid all collisions.
The future can be challenging after a pedestrian or bicycle accident
After a pedestrian or bicyclist is injured in an auto accident, the priority is to receive medical care and try to recover. They also need to consider the long-term consequences, how much the care and treatment will cost, what type of work they will be able to do and how their family will be impacted.
Although it is a positive that state authorities are trying to mitigate the chances of pedestrian or bicycle accidents, the fundamental truth is that they will continue to happen leaving people wondering about their health and finances. The circumstances need to be assessed and evidence gathered. People in this situation will need answers and know what can be done to help them. Having a grasp of what options are available is key.