With a growing number of people in Maryland deciding to ditch the automobile and use bicycles or to simply walk to their destinations, safety has become a concern. The most recent numbers for the first 10 months of the year show that there were 500 road fatalities in the state. Of those, 118 were pedestrians and 14 were bicyclists. This is the worst total in 16 years.
To combat that, strategies are being implemented to enhance safety for the most vulnerable people on the road. Despite that, there is inherent risk to riders and pedestrians and it is imperative to know the options after a crash.
Baltimore County seeks to improve bicyclist and pedestrian infrastructure
To make the streets safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, a “Master Plan” is being put in effect. This is an expansion on previous plans from 2006 and 2012. The objective is to expand the options for those who choose not to travel by automobile and make sure safety is a priority. The Department of Public Works is behind the plan.
Some of the steps include adding paths for bicyclists and pedestrians, 70 miles of bikeways and more. Other issues that will be addressed include missing sidewalks, maintenance and improvement of sidewalks that are already in place, making the roads friendlier for pedestrians and evaluating what else needs to change.
These are undoubtedly positive steps for people who are concerned about their safety and the safety of loved ones – especially children and the elderly – who are not using a motor vehicle to get around. Still, the prevalence of distracted driving, drivers who are under the influence, speeding, drowsiness and recklessness are causing accidents with pedestrians and bicyclists at the greatest risk.
Know what can be done after a bike or pedestrian crash
Given the potential for catastrophic injuries and death in bicycle and pedestrian accidents, it is important for people who have been hurt or lost a loved one to know what choices are available to them. This can help with recovering financially, physically and making sure those responsible are held to account. It is wise to be aware of the necessary steps in the immediate aftermath to accrue evidence and move forward with a claim.