Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

Lawmakers and public safety advocates hope 2010 will be a safer year on our nation’s roads and highways, with more states adopting laws like the one in Maryland that prohibits texting while driving. For anyone who hasn’t jumped on board the wireless communications bullet train — texting is typing and sending “text messages” using a cell phone, Blackberry, or other hand-held device.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that despite advances in wireless communications, “Greater sophistication in these technologies may present greater physical and cognitive challenges for drivers than traditional information sources.” Texting while driving is considered by many states including Maryland to be a form of “distracted driving” that can lead to serious and fatal traffic accidents.

Maryland Ban on Text Messaging While Driving

With the holiday season in full swing, everyone is scrambling. There’s last-minute shopping, preparing for holiday parties and feasts, wrapping up year-end projects at work — and increased travel by air, rail, and road. Unfortunately, drunk driving car accidents are also part of the holiday picture in Maryland and around the country.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that state law enforcement across the country will be cracking down on drunk drivers this holiday season, with the “Over the Limit, Under Arrest” campaign. People who overindulge in alcohol at family gatherings, work parties, New Year’s Eve celebrations, and other holiday get-togethers pose a risk of serious personal injury (including debilitating brain or spine injury) or death to themselves and others. Nationally, 13,470 people were killed in 2006 in alcohol-related traffic accidents.

Maryland Drunk Driving Statistics and Holiday Traffic Accidents

A fatal pedestrian accident took place this past weekend in Baltimore County, Maryland, involving a tanker truck.

Maryland State Police reported that on Saturday morning, a pedestrian stepped into the path of an Exxon tanker truck at Harford Road and Interstate 695. The man, a 57 year old resident of Parkville, Md., died of his injuries at the scene. The Baltimore Sun reported that alcohol was not a factor in this fatal Maryland truck accident. No further details were available.

Baltimore County truck accident attorneys are familiar with regulations in place governing the safe operation of commercial vehicles, such as tanker trailer trucks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is part of the U.S. Dept. of Transportation, works to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.

Anne Arundel County, Maryland, police reported that a fatal car pedestrian crash occurred Mon. Nov. 30 in Severna Park, Md.

The deadly car and pedestrian accident took place around noon on Ritchie Highway near Cypress Creek Rd. According to news reports, a Chestertown woman, age 64, and a man, age 43, from Arnold, Maryland, were standing next to a minivan that had stopped because of a motor vehicle accident. A Jeep Cherokee driven by an 18-year-old man crashed into a vehicle stopped at a traffic light, setting off a four-vehicle chain reaction that pushed into the two bystanders. The woman pedestrian died of her injuries and three other people suffered personal injuries.

Maryland pedestrian accident lawyers are well versed in state driving laws and issues surrounding driver liability, when a serious car or truck accident occurs and someone is hurt or killed on our state’s roads and highways.

This Thanksgiving, as is the case every holiday season, law enforcement will be on the lookout to pull over speeders, reckless drivers, and drug- and alcohol-impaired drivers to prevent Maryland car accidents.

Though 2008 saw a decline in Thanksgiving travel, gas prices have stabilized to a level more drivers can live with, and the AAA predicts an uptick in holiday travel this year. That means more cars on Maryland’s roads and highways as people travel to and from our fair state to visit family. Other factors contributing to danger on Maryland roadways this holiday season:

> County and wildlife experts report that deer-vehicle collisions in Maryland occur in the thousands every year. Exact numbers are hard to gauge, as it’s unknown how many deer-car crashes occur that don’t get reported. Deer in the roadway are a concern for holiday drivers, particularly as dusk comes earlier with the days getting shorter, and animals are active at dawn and dusk.

The Baltimore Sun reports that city police are reviewing a 911 call placed shortly before a Johns Hopkins University student was killed in a fatal hit-run pedestrian accident in Baltimore City, Maryland.

On Friday Oct. 16, 2009, in the mid-afternoon, neuroscience student Miriam Frankl, age 20, was attempting to cross St. Paul Street at University Parkway when she was struck by a pickup truck. The driver in this fatal Baltimore City pedestrian – pickup truck accident fled the scene. Ms. Frankl suffered serious head wounds and died of her injuries at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Police later apprehended and charged Thomas Meighan Jr. of Carroll County, Maryland, in relation to the death of Ms. Frankl. News reports state that Mr. Meighan has a lengthy history of drunk driving traffic violations in Maryland, including another DUI hit-and-run arrest in Northwest Baltimore this past summer.

Baltimore City Police have questioned a Carroll County, Maryland man regarding a truck involved in a hit-and-run pedestrian accident that killed a Johns Hopkins University student. According to news reports, the 20-year-old victim was crossing the 3500 block of St. Paul Street at University Parkway when she was struck by a white Ford F-250 pickup truck traveling at a high rate of speed. She later died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

The vehicle involved in this Baltimore hit-run truck accident sped off, however a witness took down the Maryland license plate number. That and news reports informing the public to keep a lookout helped police locate the vehicle. Police have questioned but not arrested a Carroll County, Maryland man, who has a lengthy history of traffic offenses, including 4 driving under the influence (DUI) arrests going back to the mid-1990s.

The individual being questioned has another DUI trial coming up in Dec. for an incident that occurred in July. He is charged with multiple offenses, including reckless driving and failure to stop at the scene of an accident involving bodily injury or death.

The Baltimore County City Council passed an act concerning speed cameras designed to thwart motor vehicle accidents and pedestrian accidents that occur in school zones. Bill 61-09 Speed Monitoring Systems, which went into effect Oct. 1, 2009, authorizes county law enforcement, in consult with other agencies, to use and enforce citations issued by speed monitoring systems in school zones.

The bill defines “speed monitoring systems” as “a device with one or more motor vehicle sensors producing recorded images of motor vehicles traveling at speeds at least 12 miles per hour above the posted speed limit.” Drivers will be subject to a $40 fine. An amendment to the bill limits the number of cameras to 15. The one councilor who dissented felt that more police — not speed cams — was a better way to address the problem.

In addition to the county bill targeting speeders in school zones, a separate state law now allows speed cameras at work zone sites; two have been placed in Baltimore County — one on I-695 at Charles Street and another on I-95 between I-895 and White Marsh Blvd.

Now that students are back to school and working people have all but forgotten their summer vacations, we’re seeing the usual uptick in fall foot traffic. As Maryland pedestrian accident attorneys, we’ve handled many unfortunate cases where someone walking to or from school or work was injured or killed by an errant driver. Now we have to wonder if some technologies are making walking even more dangerous.

A research report from earlier this year noted that Japan is making strides to build hybrid cars that make more noise. Now the U.S. is also looking at the issue of hybrids being too quiet for pedestrian safety. Apparently these energy-saving vehicles are so much quieter than conventional cars and SUVs that pedestrians may simply not hear them coming. This presents a challenge for the motor vehicle industry, which has always strived to make vehicles quieter, the ride “smoother,” and reduce noise pollution.

Researchers suggest auto manufacturers should “add engine noise” to hybrid vehicles to avoid pedestrian accidents. Hybrids running in electric mode on low speeds may be difficult to hear. Older people with hearing loss, vision-impaired people — as well as distracted pedestrians wearing headsets, iPods, or talking on cellphones — may simply not hear a nearly silent hybrid car approaching as they step into the street or intersection.

A 28-year-old woman driver faces charges of running a red light in a Baltimore, Maryland traffic accident last Thursday involving Olympic gold medal swimming champion Michael Phelps. According to the Baltimore Sun, the accident occurred Thurs. Aug. 13 around 9 p.m. at East Biddle and North Calvert Sts. The woman, driving a Honda Accord, allegedly ran a red traffic light, striking a Cadillac Escalade driven by Phelps.

The woman suffered slight personal injury in the Baltimore traffic accident and was treated for neck and shoulder injuries at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. She must have been even more embarrassed when she learned that she struck the vehicle of one of the world’s most famous Olympic athletes.

Phelps and his three passengers were not injured, though the driver’s side airbag deployed and the front of his Escalade was damaged. Phelps was raised in Rodgers Forge, Baltimore County, and now lives in a condominium in the Baltimore waterfront neighborhood Fell’s Point. The Baltimore Police Department told the Sun that Phelps presented an invalid Michigan driver’s license to officers. Phelps was given a $40 citation and will need to appear in court. He also told police that he had one beer an hour before the accident. No Breathalyzer test was given. A car or truck accident with an outsized SUV like Phelps’ Cadillac Escalade could have been a lot worse. Luckily no one was seriously hurt in this traffic accident involving a driver running a red light.