Pedestrian Accident Statistics in Massachusetts

January 21, 2022

If you’re a Massachusetts pedestrian, your safety should be your number one priority. Read on to discover all you need to know about pedestrian accident data.

There are many reasons for motor vehicle accidents in Massachusetts. Regardless of the cause of the crash, they usually cause severe injuries or lead to a motorist or non-motorists fatalities. One of the worst-hit accident victims are pedestrians who would later need personal injury lawyers to file a claim. They’re at higher risk of motor vehicle deaths than other road users.

As such, it’s essential to prioritize pedestrian safety at all costs. Unfortunately, despite strict traffic laws, negligent driving is still one of the major causes of fatal pedestrian crashes in the city. At other times, pedestrians cause their traffic deaths by failing to obey simple best practices like using the sidewalks.

Pedestrian safety is everyone’s responsibility. The first step to reducing the pedestrian fatality rate is realizing how serious the problem is. That’s why we’ve compiled various pedestrian accident statistics from reliable sources in this article. We’ve also discussed the best ways to prevent pedestrian death figures in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Pedestrian Traffic Crash Statistics 

Injury statistics show that pedestrian deaths have witnessed a dramatic increase in recent times. The report offers a 51% increase in fatal crashes involving pedestrians since 2009. Most of these fatalities occurred in urban settings, open roads, dangerous intersections, and in dark lighting conditions.

The National Center for Statistics and Analysis provides reliable accident analysis & prevention reports for the National Highway Safety Administration. According to the body, there were 6,205 pedestrian death tolls in 2019. The Federal Highway Administration, in its highway statistics, states that pedestrian and bicyclist deaths comprise about 16% of all traffic fatalities. Its annual report puts the yearly pedestrian death rates at 65,000.

Massachusetts’ average fatalities aren’t encouraging either. The Massachusetts Vision Zero Coalition compiles its crash fatality list through news and social media alerts. According to its 2016 to 2021 pedestrian fatalities report, there were 395 pedestrian deaths within the five-year period. That is very high compared to the 2016 to 2021 bicyclist fatalities in the same report. 

However, while the US pedestrian death rates increased in 2020, Massachusetts pedestrian-motor vehicle crash rates reduced. According to the report, 53 pedestrians were killed by drivers in 2020, amounting to a 30% decrease from the 2019 statistics.

Here are some statistical reports from the government of Massachusetts:

  • There were 78 reported pedestrian fatalities across Massachusetts in 2018. pedestrians aged 55 or older represented more than half the fatalities.
  • There are more male pedestrian fatalities than females
  • Pedestrian accidents occur between late afternoon periods (from 3 pm) and midnight. 60% of pedestrian fatalities from 2014 to 2018 happened within that time frame.
  • October through December consistently sees the highest fatalities 

The Federal Highway Administration’s interim goal for 2018-2022 five-year average for fatalities is 320. That reflects an almost 13% drop from the 2012-2016 five-year fatality average of 367. We can drastically reduce the percentage of crash deaths if we all joined hands to improve pedestrian safety in Massachusetts. The next subhead explains how we can achieve that.

How to Prevent Pedestrian Collisions in Massachusetts 

There are numerous ways to reduce this dangerous trend of high pedestrian death rates in Massachusetts. By adhering to these best practices, we can avoid the majority of the pedestrian accident injuries and fatalities in the state: 

  • Avoid Driver Inattention 

Driver inattention or distracted driving happens when a motorist combines another activity with driving. There are three main types of distraction — visual, manual, and cognitive.

According to the CDC, eight people die in distracted driver accidents in the US every day. More than 2,800 people were killed, and an estimated 400,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2018. Unfortunately, 1 in 5 of those fatalities were not in vehicles.

A distracted driver is more likely to cause pedestrian accidents than an alert driver. That’s because driving requires 100% attention and zero distractions. But, again, it takes only a few seconds of driver inattention to cause an accident. As such, it’s best to limit your use of electronic devices while driving. This rule also applies to pedestrians and other types of road users.

  • Avoid Drunk Driving 

Like distracted drivers, drunk drivers are at high risk of causing traffic accidents and deaths. However, alcohol-impaired drivers cause some of the most severe crash injuries and are also at risk of DUI charges. Different States have their BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) for various drivers. For Massachusetts, the BAC limit is 0.2%, 0.4%, and 0.8% for Under 21s, commercial drivers, and non-commercial drivers.

28 people die every day in drunk driving crashes in the USA. Alcohol intoxication reduces motorists’ ability to make sound decisions on the road. To avoid accidents, road users must not drink and drive.

  • Don’t Drive Beyond Recommended Speed Limits

Excessive speed is one of the significant factors responsible for high vehicle crash death rates. Driving at excessive vehicle speeds makes it challenging to completely halt during emergencies. According to WHO, every 1% increase in mean speed produces a 4% increase in the fatal crash risk and a 3% increase in the serious crash risk. You can avoid speeding by proper time planning, checking your speedometer regularly, and avoiding speeding triggers.

  • Be Extra Cautious in Terrible Road Conditions 

Bad roads and weather can increase the risk of road crashes. However, drivers are still responsible for accidents they cause in such conditions. Don’t attempt to drive if the road or weather conditions make it impossible. If you must drive, be extra cautious and ensure that your speed is less than usual. Adverse weather makes it harder to see pedestrians.

  • Follow All Pedestrian Safety Rules and Best Practices 

There are numerous best practices for pedestrians to adhere to. For example, wear bright-colored or reflective clothing in dark lighting conditions and at night. As a driver, yield the right of way to pedestrians when necessary and always look out for pedestrians. Another important rule is to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy before beginning every journey.

As a pedestrian, use the sidewalks when possible. Pedestrians must also learn to avoid walking in the same direction as traffic.

Contact Your Massachusetts Pedestrian Accident Attorney ASAP! 

As a road user in Massachusetts, there are many things you can do to reduce pedestrian fatalities through traffic crashes. However, it’s always a collective effort, and no matter how you try, someone else may cause your pedestrian accident injuries. From drunk driving to speeding, distracted driving, etc., negligent road users can cause your accident in many ways. In such cases, you can get relief and ensure that they pay for your hurt with an accident attorney’s help.

Our personal injury lawyers at Michael Kelly Injury Lawyers have vast experience in pedestrian accidents. We know the best ways to hold the liable party and their insurance companies responsible for your injuries. We’ll ensure that you get the best settlement amounts in a short time frame. Schedule a free consultation with us immediately.

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Michael D. Kelly has a diverse background that provides a breadth of legal knowledge that he draws upon in serving his clients. Kelly compiled an excellent academic record during his three years at New England Law in Boston.