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Boston Public Health Commission Finds High Risk for Pedestrian Accidents, Offers Safety Tips

Recently, the Boston Public Health Commission’s “Walk This Way” study found that there are around 2 million pedestrians walking around Boston daily. Although Boston is often lauded as a pleasant walking city, the high volume of vehicular and pedestrian traffic creates an increased risk of pedestrian accidents. In fact, according to the BPHC, every day there are three pedestrian accidents in Boston alone.

The BPHC’s Walk This Way initiative provides pedestrians in and around Boston with some helpful safety tips to minimize the risk of pedestrian accidents, which often result in personal injury and/or death. In the year before Walk This Way was launched, 1,166 pedestrians were taken to the hospital following a car accident in Boston. Since the initiative began, the number of pedestrian accidents has decreased. Nonetheless, drivers and pedestrians in Boston do not always practice safe travel habits that can reduce the number of pedestrian accidents even further.

According to Walk This Way, only 12% of pedestrians in Boston waited for the “Walk” signal before crossing the street and 1/3 of pedestrians frequently jaywalk. Perhaps the most staggering statistic was that while 95% of drivers yield to pedestrians who have the right of way, only 50% of drivers yielded to pedestrians crossing against the light and even fewer slowed down for jaywalkers.

The majority of pedestrian accidents are the result of a driver’s negligence, including disregarding traffic laws and road signs, texting while driving, speeding, failing to yield to pedestrians, or simply not paying attention to the road. Unfortunately, insurance companies often attempt to fault the pedestrian to avoid payment. Consequently, a swift and thorough investigation of the motorist is in order and victims of a pedestrian accident should seek skilled and experienced legal representation as soon as possible. The Boston personal injury attorneys at Bellotti Law Group have successfully handled hundreds of pedestrian accident cases. Our Boston, Cambridge, and Quincy personal injury lawyers will work diligently to get your medical bills paid and your life back on track. Contact us at 617-225-2100 for a free consultation.

The BPHC has published a list of helpful safety tips for both drivers and pedestrians that can help to greatly reduce the number of pedestrian accidents in the congested streets of Boston, Cambridge, Quincy, and all of Massachusetts.

Safety Tips from the BPHC for Pedestrians:

– Always use the crosswalk.

– If you’re at a crosswalk with a traffic light, push the button and wait for the “Walk” signal.

– If you’re at a crosswalk without a traffic light, you have the right of way. However, make sure approaching drivers see you and come to a complete stop before you cross.

– On roads without sidewalks, walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic.

– Watch for cars backing out of parking spaces and driveways.

Safety Tips from the BPHC for Drivers:

– Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks without traffic signals.

– Drivers should always yield to pedestrians on turns. Special challenges arise when children and elderly cross the streets, such as visual limitations, increased distractions and slower pace.

– Take your time. Speeding and reckless driving are factors in nearly 23% of motor
vehicle crashes, and doesn’t usually save you much time in the long run.

Bellotti Law Group serves Greater Boston, Cambridge, Quincy, Braintree, Brookline, Newton, the South Shore, and all of Massachusetts. Our offices are located in Cambridge and Quincy. Contact us today at 617-225-2100.