Boston car accidents in which pedestrians are hit often result in serious personal injury or death. These cases often involve substantial pain and suffering and other types of legal damages so the plaintiff’s pedestrian accident lawyer will often have to look to all possible sources of potential recovery when fighting for a full and appropriate settlement or jury verdict should the case go to trial. To make matters worse, these incidents are on the rise.
According to federal data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in one year alone, there nearly 5,400 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents across the nation, and this amounts to one pedestrian being killed every 1.6 hours on average. As discussed in one article from WBUR News, these numbers seem to be increasing year over year all across the country, and we are seeing such an increase in Massachusetts as well.
Causes of Increased Pedestrian Deaths in Boston
As our Boston car accident lawyers can explain, there is no single reason for the increase in the number of serious and fatal car accidents involving pedestrians being hit by a vehicle in Massachusetts, but we are seeing an increase in some causes. One of the factors that is leading to more pedestrian accidents in an increase in the number of cases of distracted driving incidents.
Technology makes our lives a lot easier that it used to be, and in many ways that is a good thing. There are, however, more distractions as a result of all of this new technology and that is resulting in more car accidents. Due to how people tend to use technology in cars, that is resulting in many pedestrians being hit.
Use of Smart Phones and Other Electronic Devices Causes Car Crashes
Theses days, using a map or even printing out directions from the internet before getting behind the wheel is basically unheard of . Those of us who are of a certain age can remember buying one of those large atlas books for a gas station and keeping in the car at all times. Prior to going on a long trip to an unfamiliar place, we would map out our route. Today, everyone gets behind the wheel and puts the location into the GPS app on their smart phone. Even when we know where are going, we still use the apps as they will tell us the best route in the current traffic conditions, and this is often very helpful.
The problem is that driving is a divided attention activity. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has complied decades of research on this fact, and how alcohol can affect one’s ability to focus on multiple things at once which is necessary to safely to drive a car. Alcohol, however, is not the only thing that divides a driver’s attention. As we have seen in far too many cases, using handheld electronic devices can do so as well.
This results in many more pedestrian deaths and cases of serious personal injury because people tend to use their phones for navigation or texting when they are moving slowly and stopped a traffic light. This results in a lot of inattentive driving in areas where people drive slow such as in urban areas like Boston. These are also the same streets and sidewalks on which pedestrians are walking and this is one major reason for many of the Boston car crashes involving pedestrians. This is not to say that drunk driving in Boston is not a serious issue, because it is, but there are many more people driving and texting than there are driving while drunk at any given time.
To combat this issue, Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L) Chapter 90, Section 13B prohibits the use of any mobile telephone or other handheld electronic device that is capable of accessing the internet to write, send, or read an email or text message by the operator of vehicle. There are exceptions to this that require the driver to pull off the road, stop the vehicle, and not in be an a lane that is intended for travel. Violating this law will result in a fine between $100 and $300 dollars pending on whether it is a first, second, or third offense, but it often results in a serious or fatal traffic accident involving pedestrians.
A violation of this section can also be used to be prove negligence in Boston car accidnet. When a statute is violated, and that violation caused the type of harm the statute was enacted to prohibit, that can used to establish negligence per se as discussed in Correia v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., a case from the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), which is the highest court in the Commonwealth.
Toddler Seriously Injured in Haverhill Car Accident
According to a recent news article from CBS Boston, a toddler was seriously injured in a Haverhill, Massachusetts car accident when he and his mother were hit by a vehicle. Authorities have said a couple was crossing the street with their young son when they were struck by the vehicle. The boy’s mother suffered a broken arm, but the boy suffered much more substantial injuries. When first responders arrived, they found him in critical condition and rushed him to a local pediatric level one trauma center. Doctors there did what they could, but he was then flown by life-flight transport to Boston Medical Center as he was still in life-threatening condition and the local hospital did not have the best resources to treat the young victim.
The driver stayed on the scene and was fully cooperative with authorities as they investigated this horrific accident. He allegedly told police he swerved to avoid hitting the couple, but never saw the boy walking behind them. The police did not file any criminal charges and there have not been any moving violations reported as of the time of this article. There have also not been any reported allegations of negligence on behalf of the driver. Witnesses who saw the accident said they did not known if the child was going to survive and ran to a nearby pizza place to call 911.
If you are injured in an accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — (617) 777-7777.
More Blog Entries:
Girl, 10, Struck And Killed While Standing Outside Broken-Down Car, July 23, 2017, CBS Boston