Walking is a great form of exercise for most Maryland residents. Unfortunately, it can also be dangerous. Although most people take great care to look both ways before crossing the street and stick to well-lit areas, they are simply no match for large motor vehicles. Because of this, virtually anyone can be at risk for a pedestrian accident.
Sports utility vehicles are popular choices for many families in Maryland, and it is easy to see why. These vehicles typically offer adequate seating, ample storage space and competitive gas mileage, all of which is perfect for a busy family on the go. However, there may be a darker side to SUVs -- an increase in pedestrian accidents.
It does not matter whether Maryland police officers are on duty or off duty. While they are behind the wheel, they must adhere to traffic regulations unless under certain circumstances. They owe the same duty, if not a higher one, to other motorists and pedestrians as anyone else does. Avoiding a motor vehicle or pedestrian accident should remain a priority for every driver, including those in law enforcement.
Retail, rental and restaurant establishments designed to serve the students who attend them often occupy the real estate surrounding many of Maryland's college and university campuses. Students who frequent the businesses and live near the campuses may walk quite a bit. This means they are also vulnerable to being injured or even killed in pedestrian accidents.
As we've discussed on our blog before, more people than ever are now choosing to forgo their vehicles in favor of going by mass transit, bicycle or even on foot. The motivations for this drastic lifestyle change vary, of course, with some motivated by environmental concerns, others by finances and still others by healthy living.
When the Governors Highway Safety Association published its annual findings on the number of pedestrian fatalities here in the U.S. last year, there was no shortage of shock and outrage. Indeed, it was hoped that the revelation that the number of pedestrian fatalities had increased by more than 9 percent from 2014 to 2015 would serve as something of a wakeup call to motorists, pedestrians and lawmakers.
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.