Even though the calendar says autumn is officially here, anyone who has lived in Maryland long enough knows that we are still several weeks away from any noticeable shift in weather conditions. What this means, of course, is that there is still more than enough time to take part in our favorite outdoor activities from long bike rides to leisurely walks.
It's important to understand, however, that no matter what time of the year it is, the danger of being involved in a pedestrian accident is always present. In case, you don't believe it, consider statistics show that of the 32,675 traffic-related fatalities that occurred in 2014, an astounding 15 percent were pedestrians.
Interestingly enough, the news site 24/7 Wall St. published a fascinating study this past spring ranking the 50 states according to which were the safest and which were the most dangerous for pedestrians based on their respective pedestrian fatality rates per 100,000 people.
Here, the necessary data -- total traffic and pedestrian fatalities -- was provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
The states that were ranked as being the safest for pedestrians included:
- Minnesota (50) - 0.27 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000
- Nebraska (49) - 0.48 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000
- Iowa (48) - 0.61 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000
- Maine (47) - 0.68 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000
- Ohio (46) - 0.74 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000
Conversely, the states that were ranked as being the most dangerous for pedestrians included:
- Louisiana (5) - 2.26 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000
- Nevada (4) - 2.47 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000
- Delaware (3) - 2.67 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000
- Florida (2) - 2.96 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000
- New Mexico (1) - 3.55 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000
As for Maryland, we were ranked as the 15th most dangerous state for pedestrians with 1.69 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000, a less than encouraging showing.
Here's hoping state and local officials are able to do more to lower these figures in the years ahead whether that means lower speed limits, more sidewalks or additional public safety campaigns.
In the meantime, always remember that if you were seriously injured or lost a loved one in a pedestrian accident caused by the reckless actions of another that you have options for seeking justice.