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National Pedestrian Fatalities On the Rise – Are Nevadans At Risk?

Recently, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GSHA) released a report stating that 2018’s 6,227 nationwide fatalities marked the largest recorded number of pedestrian deaths since 1990. The percentage of all traffic fatalities that were pedestrians has also increased. While in 2008, pedestrians encompassed 12 percent of all traffic fatalities, this rose to 16 percent in 2017.

There are a number of factors contributing to the rise in deadly pedestrian accidents:

More people are driving SUVs. SUVs are heavier and larger than most cars, which means that pedestrians are less likely to survive the forceful impact if struck. 

Cell phone use. Walkers and drivers alike use their cell phone data 4,000 percent more than they did in 2008. With their eyes off the road, deadly incidents are more likely to occur, whether that be a texting driver blowing through a red light or a pedestrian walking in front of a speeding car without looking up.  

Unsafe road designs. Most roads do not have enough crosswalks. Despite research indicating that pedestrians are only willing to walk about 300 feet to the nearest crosswalk, many roads have one or two mile gaps between crosswalks.

Alcohol impairment. It is common knowledge that alcohol heightens the risk of a deadly accident. Even so, nearly one in three of pedestrian fatality crashes involves pedestrians with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. Almost one in five involves drivers with a  BAC of 0.08 or higher.

Unfortunately, Nevada residents are not immune to these accidents: in the first three months of 2019, six pedestrians died in Washoe County alone, which is double the number that occurred in 2018. Hopefully, ongoing efforts, such as the proposed “textalyzer” device that would allow cops to detect driver cell phone use, will help to spare the lives of pedestrians moving forward.

 

 

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Motorcycle Accidents in Massachusetts and Why You Need an Attorney

As spring approaches, many Massachusetts residents are relieved to be free from the below-zero temperatures that grip the state each winter. It is important to note, however, that warmer weather also marks the beginning of motorcycle season.

Unfortunately, the increased presence of motorcycles on roads means that motorcycle accidents will become more common. On April 14 alone, three motorcyclists and one car driver were taken to the hospital after two motorcycle crashes on Route 213 in Methuen. This comes a little over a week after a 24-year-old Taunton motorcyclist was killed after crashing into a turning car.

According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), there were 45 motorcycle crash fatalities in Massachusetts in 2017, which marked a 7.1 percent increase from 2016. In the same one year timespan, a majority of the states saw a decline in the number of motorcyclist fatalities. There was also a national decrease of 8.6 percent, with 5,251 deaths in 2016 decreasing to 4,798 in 2017.

There are over 160,000 registered motorcycles in Massachusetts, making it critical that both vehicle drivers and motorcyclists drive safely to minimize the risk of crashing. A number of risky driving behaviors make accidents more likely to occur:

  • “Lane splitting” – an illegal behavior that consists of motorcyclists driving between lanes or along the shoulder to avoid waiting in traffic.
  • Failing to see a motorcycle before turning/changing lanes.
  • Failing to yield the right away.
  • Speeding.
  • Not obeying traffic laws.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Massachusetts is a comparative negligence state, which means that a driver can be barred from recovering damages if a court finds them more than 50% at fault for an accident. Because of this, it is important to reach out to an experienced attorney to maximize your chances of being compensated.

If you have been involved in an accident with a motorcycle, call the experienced attorneys at Sweeney Merrigan Law today at (619) 391-6001 to discuss your legal options.

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