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Guarding against pedestrian accidents in Massachusetts

In 2012, a pedestrian was injured in a traffic accident every seven minutes on average. On average, a pedestrian was killed in a traffic accident every two hours. When compared to occupants in a motor vehicle, a pedestrian was 1.5 times more likely to die in a traffic-related crash. Older pedestrians over the age of 65 had the highest risk of suffering an injury or dying in an accident.

Those over the age of 65 accounted for roughly a fifth of all pedestrian deaths in 2012 as well as 9 percent of all injuries. Statistics also indicate that alcohol played a role in many pedestrian accidents that resulted in injury or death to either a driver or a pedestrian. In 34 percent of all crashes, either the driver or the pedestrian had a blood alcohol content higher than .08 percent.

Pedestrians are urged to make themselves as visible as possible while walking outside. It is recommended that they use flashlights or by wearing reflective clothing. Experts also recommend that pedestrians use the sidewalk if at all possible. If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should walk along the shoulder of the road facing oncoming traffic. Another safety measure would be to only cross the street at designated signals or intersections.

A pedestrian accident may cause injuries that make it difficult to live a high quality of life or earn a living. With the help of a car accident attorney, it may be possible to win compensation for medical bills or lost wages. It may also be possible to win compensation for lost future earnings if an injury forces the victim to stop working or limits their ability to find work. An attorney may also be able to help a victim win punitive damages on top of any other possible compensation.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Pedestrian Safety", December 14, 2014

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