Boston falls down on reporting pedestrian accidents

Pedestrian accidents in Boston are not always reported, skewing the true dangers that face people on foot.

A report published last summer in the Boston Globe called out issues pertaining to the reporting of pedestrian accidents in the city. According to the story, Boston police are too busy to spend time on paperwork, thereby leaving many accident reports unfiled. Fatal pedestrian accidents do get reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration but there is no guarantee that other crashes are reported.

This means that statistics for non-fatal pedestrian accidents do not give an accurate picture of the dangers that face people on foot in the city. In addition, this lack of proper reporting has cost the city dearly in the form of lost grant money or other funds that could be used to help improve safety on the city's streets.

What do statistics show?

When it comes to fatalities, the NHTSA records make it clear that pedestrians all over Massachusetts face serious dangers. In 2013, 326 people died in traffic accidents statewide and 68 of those were pedestrians.

Middlesex County had the greatest number of pedestrian deaths with 13 followed by Worcester and Essex Counties with 11 and 10 pedestrian fatalities, respectively. In Suffolk County, nine out of 22 vehicular fatalities were pedestrians.

News stories show the ongoing danger

Even without official reporting of accidents by police, one can get a glimpse of the ongoing risks faced by pedestrians by reading local news stories. Recent reports include the following:

  • A hit-and-run accident near Fenway Park injured one pedestrian. According to the WHDH.com report, the victim was crossing a road near the park when the collision occurred.
  • The Enterprise published an article about a pedestrian who was struck from behind by a vehicle and taken to a hospital in Boston. The victim's condition was unknown at the time of the report. The accident took place in the wee hours of the morning.
  • In Orleans, a driver who may have fallen asleep at the wheel reportedly hit six female pedestrians. Three of the women sustained serious injuries and the other three were treated for minor injuries per the WHDH.com story.

These are just a sampling of the wide number of accidents involving people on foot hit by vehicles. Utilizing data from police records and emergency responders, the Boston Globe story suggested that there were more than 750 accidents involving pedestrians in Boston in 2013.

What should victims do?

All people injured in a pedestrian accident should contact an attorney for help. In the event of a fatal accident, family members should seek legal help on behalf of their deceased loved ones.

Keywords: pedestrian, accident, injury