The past few weeks have been especially dangerous for Massachusetts pedestrians. During Thanksgiving weekend, four pedestrians were killed in separate Massachusetts fatal accidents.
The victims included a 47 year-old Worcester woman who was killed while crossing Lincoln Street and a 75 year-old Sommerville man who was struck by an SUV in the O’Neill Tunnel after he exited his vehicle to exchange information following a minor accident. Just hours after the man died, one teen was killed and another critically injured in Lynnfield when they were hit while standing in a travel lane on Route 128.
Earlier Thanksgiving week, a 60 year-old Worcester man was killed when he was hit by a car, also while crossing Lincoln Street. The week after Thanksgiving, a 5 year-old boy was injured when he was struck by a car on Brooks Street in Worcester. The boy suffered a concussion but is expected to recover.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
This recent spate of pedestrian accidents provides an unfortunate reminder of the need to follow pedestrian safety rules. Pedestrians account for approximately 20 percent of all Massachusetts motor-vehicle related fatalities. By adhering to the following simple safety tips, those on foot can reduce their risk of being hit by a car:
- Use the crosswalk whenever possible. The vast majority of accidents happen at non-intersections, because drivers do not anticipate encountering pedestrians.
- Stay in the vehicle until police arrive, if involved in an accident, especially on a major roadway. Officers will be able to direct traffic so that it is safe to get out of the car.
- Wear light-colored or reflective clothing and carry a flashlight when walking at night.
- Use the sidewalk, if available. When no sidewalk is available it is always safer to walk facing traffic to see cars coming.
Under Massachusetts law, drivers have a duty to yield to pedestrians who are crossing the street legally. Unfortunately, drivers do not always follow this rule. Pedestrians need to be extremely careful and realize that some drivers do not see them.
Source: Boston Herald, “Worcester Woman Killed Crossing Street, Pushing Weekend Fatalities to 4,” Nov. 28, 2011.