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How can Maryland roadways be made safer for pedestrians?

In Maryland, pedestrian accidents are a daily occurrence. Unfortunately, it can have a huge effect on an entire community and can involve not only injury but also death. It doesn't matter what age you are or whether you are the driver or the pedestrian. Many of the pedestrian accidents are due to drunkenness or carelessness. Education is one answer to the dilemma of who has the right of way.

This education program is available for both drivers and pedestrians in the Maryland, Washington D.C., area. It is called "Street Smart." This program uses radio and television advertising as well as web-TV announcements. The information is available online and even in the newspaper. The ads are most available in Baltimore, Maryland, where 30 percent of all of the state's pedestrian accidents occur.

Maryland law states that all drivers have to halt for a walker on all marked and unmarked crosswalks when the pedestrian is in their side of the road or approaching their side of the road.

When the pedestrian is at an intersection, the driver must yield the right-of-way to a walker if the driver is turning and on a green light as long as the walker is in the crosswalk. Also, drivers must yield the right of way to pedestrians if turning right on red after stop and the walker is in the crosswalk.

Some of the statistics can be frightening. For instance, between 2006 and 2010, the average number of pedestrian fatalities was 107. Of that 107, 36 percent were due to drug and alcohol use, 70 percent were men and boys and 68 percent were crossing the street without the benefit of a crosswalk. This in no way means that the pedestrian is always at fault. That can't be further from the truth. If the drivers had been driving defensively and with care, these pedestrian accidents might not have occurred.

If you have been injured due to a pedestrian accident, an experienced legal professional who knows the laws of Maryland and the surrounding area can be so much help. Knowing that this person is in your corner can be a great comfort at a time like this.

Source: Maryland Highway Safety, "Pedestrian safety" Oct. 06, 2014

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