According to the Baltimore Sun, since January 2003 at least 29 Maryland pedestrian fatalities have occurred in the 52-mile section of US 40 where it merges into Interstate 70 in Western Howard County. At least 8 of the pedestrian deaths occurred in Baltimore City, and except for 2 fatalities, the other pedestrian deaths occurred in West Baltimore. 21 pedestrian fatalities occurred in Baltimore County, Howard County, and Harford County, with the 3-4 fatalities that took place in the Maryland cities of Rosedale, Ellicott City, and Aberdeen occurring within a few hundred feet of each other.
Maryland State Highway Administration spokesperson Dave Buck says US 40, a main arterial highway, was constructed before pedestrian safety was considered a priority. A recent report by Surface Transportation Policy Project and Transportation for America recently pointed to highway design as one of the main causes of pedestrian deaths.
The report noted that 56% of pedestrian fatalities occur on roads that weren’t designed with pedestrian safety in mind. The report says arterial roads usually have multiple lanes, high speed limits, and few (if any) crossing signals or crosswalks.
Other arterial loads linked to Baltimore pedestrian accidents include Ritchie Highway, US 1, Reierstown Road, Liberty Road, and Mountain Road. With so many pedestrians continuing to die and get hurt in US traffic crashes each year—4,378 US pedestrian fatalities, 69,000 pedestrian injuries, and 116 Maryland pedestrian deaths in 2008—local, state, and federal entities must make sure that roads are properly designed to limit the number of pedestrian injuries and deaths.
U.S. 40 among top danger spots for pedestrians, Baltimore Sun, November 23, 2009
Pedestrians, NHTSA (PDF)
Related Web Resources:
Read the Report (PDF)
Maryland Department of Transportation
Negligent driving on these arterial roads is also a cause of some of the pedestrian deaths, as is pedestrian error. If you were injured in a Maryland pedestrian accident there are steps you can take to ensure that a negligent driver or the entity responsible for designing a dangerous road is held accountable for your personal injuries. Contact our Maryland pedestrian accident law firm today.