Traveling on foot can be an ideal way to navigate Boston. However, research indicates that pedestrians in our city may be at a fairly high risk of being harmed in accidents.
WalkBoston is an organization dedicated to making communities in Massachusetts (and the entire country) more walkable. The organization recently released a report, Fatal Crashes in MA (2021), which offers a closer look at pedestrian accident trends throughout the Commonwealth.
The report indicates that fatal pedestrian accidents occurred in 47 Massachusetts towns and cities in 2021. More than half of these accidents occurred in just 12 municipalities. They are:
- New Bedford
Both Boston and Springfield had nine fatal pedestrian accidents in 2021, more than any other cities or towns in Massachusetts. This is clearly a problem that needs to be addressed.
Be aware that these statistics only cover pedestrian accidents that resulted in the loss of life. Many more pedestrian accidents that leave victims with serious injuries occur in Boston every year.
Guarding Against Pedestrian Accidents in Boston
The team at WalkBoston is not pessimistic. Despite these alarming data, they believe it is possible to reduce or even eliminate fatal pedestrian accidents in Massachusetts.
They specifically argue that making general improvements to road design is a simple but potentially effective way to prevent accidents. This would be particularly beneficial to Bostonians over the age of 65. Although they constitute only 17% of the population, Massachusetts residents over the age of 65 accounts for 36% of fatal pedestrian accident victims.
A closer look at the data also indicates that many pedestrian accidents involve speeding drivers. Approximately 50.67% of pedestrian accidents in Massachusetts occur on streets where the speed limit is 35 or 30 mph. Although these speed limits are low, hostile and aggressive drivers may not be patient enough to obey the speed limit.
WalkBoston argues that addressing these factors need not be difficult or expensive. For example, in Arlington, a new traffic circle was created solely using traffic cones. This project was completed efficiently and affordably because it did not require any additional construction.
The results speak for themselves. The addition of the new traffic circle reduced speeding in the area by 65%.
Additionally, WalkBoston points out that adding bike lanes to roads doesn’t merely boost bicyclist safety. It can also guard against pedestrian accidents resulting from speeding.
This is because new bike lanes make roads narrower. When a road is narrower, a driver is less likely to speed.
Seeking Legal Help After a Boston Pedestrian Accident
The above examples represent just a few possible solutions to Boston’s pedestrian accident problem. Pedestrians themselves can also minimize their chances of being harmed by paying attention to their surroundings, using crosswalks, etc.
However, even if you’re a responsible person, it’s possible you’ve been injured while walking in Boston as a result of someone else’s negligence. Get in touch with a Boston pedestrian accident attorney at Colucci, Colucci & Marcus, P.C. if so. We could help you pursue compensation for your medical bills and other such losses. Contact us online or call us at 617-698-6000 today to learn more about your legal options.