Pedestrian safety takes on a new meaning at the start of the school year. Drivers must watch out for children walking to and from school or their bus stops – children who often don’t think to look both ways or pause before crossing an intersection.
Of course, children aren’t the only victims of pedestrian accidents. According to the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, 75 pedestrians died in Massachusetts pedestrian accidents in 2008. And throughout the U.S., 215 children under 13 were killed in pedestrian accidents that year, which accounts for approximately 20 percent of all child motor vehicle accident fatalities.
In an effort to identify and improve dangerous intersections – and hopefully reduce the number of pedestrian accidents and other motor vehicle accidents – the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has recently released its 2009 list of the most dangerous intersections in the Commonwealth.
The intersection of Veterans of Foreign Wars Highway and Varnum Avenue in Lowell tops the list for its 137 total crashes and 36 injury crashes between 2007 and 2009. In the pedestrian accident category, Chelsea was ranked as the worst pedestrian crash cluster, with 129 total pedestrian accidents, 95 injury-causing pedestrian accidents and one fatal accident between 2002 and 2009.
A stretch down Main Street and Chandler Street in Worcester ranked that city number four in the pedestrian crash cluster category. Between 2002 and 2009, there were 43 pedestrian accidents, 36 of which caused injury.
While the report lists the most dangerous intersections in Massachusetts, pedestrian accidents can happen anywhere – from the busiest intersection in Worcester to a quiet rural road. That is why it is important to always be careful while crossing a street and to remind your children to look both ways. We can all take a part in preventing pedestrian accidents and keeping our children – and ourselves – safe.
Source: Massachusetts Department of Transportation, “2009 Top Crash Locations Report,” August 2011.