Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accident

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced this week that thousands of law enforcement agencies across the US will be combating drunk driving crashes during the holiday season through the annual “Drunk Driving. Over The Limit. Under Arrest” campaign. Some $7 million in advertising will run between December 15, 2010 and January 3, 2011 to promote the campaign.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 753 US drunk driver-related deaths in December 2009. In total for that year, there were 10,839 alcohol-related traffic fatalities with one of these deaths occurring every 48 minutes. 7,281 of the those who died were drivers with a BAC of .08 or greater. 2,891 of those who were killed were motor vehicle occupants. 667 were nonoccupants. Our Washington DC car crash lawyers have reported on these developments in the past.

In addition to the national holiday crackdown campaign, a number of states have adopted the “No Refusal” strategy, which lets law enforcement officers quickly get warrants for blood samples from suspected drunk drivers who exercise their right to not take a breathalyzer test. Secretary LaHood is encouraging other states to adopt this approach.

Beginning Friday in Washington DC, the Washington Regional Alcohol Program will offer free taxi rides (a $30 limit) to people who call 1-800-200-TAXI. Participants have to be age 21 or older and the free service is available between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. weekly.

With the holiday season underway, people are likely to find themselves attending social and celebratory gatherings were alcohol is being served. During this time of the year, the last thing that anyone wants to have happen is to suffer serious injuries or lose a loved one in a Washington DC car accident because someone was driving while drunk.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Holiday Drunk Driving Crackdown, NHTSA, December 13, 2010
Holiday crackdown on drunk driving, The Washington Post, December 13, 2010
Related Web Resources:

Alcohol-Impaired Driving, NHTSA (PDF)

40 Million in U.S. Driving Drunk or Drugged, US News, December 9, 2010

Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog

Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, post-mortem test results from between 2005 and 2009 reveal an increase in the level of drug involvement among drivers killed in US traffic crashes. This, however, the NHTSA is quick to qualify that this does not mean that the motorists tested were impaired at the time of death or that use of a drug caused the fatal collision.

Per NHTSA Data:
• 63% of the 21,798 drivers killed in 2009 were tested for drugs.
• 3,952 of these drivers tested positive for drugs.

• Over the last five years, US states have reported an increase in drug use among fatally injured drivers.

According to NHTSA Administrator David Strickland, this report is a warning that too many motorists in the US are driving with drugs in their system and not realizing that this is causing them to become a danger to themselves and others. The data is part of the traffic safety agency’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Our Washington DC injury lawyers want to remind you that if you or someone you love was injured in a car crash by a motorist who was under the influence of drugs or driving while drunk, you may have grounds for a civil case.

Drugged driving is dangerous driving. It doesn’t matter whether the driver is on medication prescribed by a doctor or taking an illegal drug. Depending on the type of drug used and the corresponding side effects, drugged driving can modify a motorist’s perception, attention, cognition, coordination, balance, and reaction time, which are all faculties that affect a driver’s ability to drive safely.

Unlike with alcohol, there is inadequate current technology for determining drug levels and the impairment that can result. There is also no legal limit to serve as a marker for when someone is considered legally impaired and under the influence of drugs. Different US states, however, have passed their own laws and programs for trying to determine whether someone is engaged in drugged driving.

Report is First Ever Analysis of Drug Involvement Among Deceased Drivers in Fatal Crashes, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, November 30, 2010

Read the Report (PDF)

Related Web Resources:
What is Drugged Driving?, National Institute on Drugged Driving

Stop Drugged Driving

Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog

Maryland Motorcycle Accident Attorney Blog

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Police have charged Michael Glover with negligent homicide in the Washington DC pedestrian accident death of Duffie Claridy, a 71-year-old man who went for a walk but failed to return to his Southeast home.

Claridy, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, was found by the authorities on the 2900 block of South Capitol Street SW at almost 1 am on November 8.The elderly pedestrian had been fatally struck by a car that did not stop at the Washington DC traffic crash site.

To “hit and run” is against the law. A DC car accident victim or an injured pedestrian who might otherwise have been saved if medical help had been called right away could end up dying because a motorist involved opted to flee the crash site rather than call the police and/or an ambulance.

Elderly Pedestrians

According to the US Department of Transportation, the chances of dying from injuries sustained during a pedestrian accident goes up with the older the victim. Senior pedestrians, ages 65 and above, have a two to eight times greater chance of dying than do younger pedestrians. In 1994, 15% of pedestrians in the senior age group who were struck by a car died from his/her injuries—that’s 1,249 senior pedestrians. 6,850 elderly pedestrians sustained injuries.

Washington DC Wrongful Death

Losing someone you love is never easy—especially if in an accident or under other circumstances that could have been prevented were it not for the other party’s negligence or carelessness.

Michael Glover charged in the death of Duffie Claridy in Washington, DC, Oye Times, November 13, 2010
Police say man charged with in hit-and-run death of SE Washington resident, The Washington Post, November 12, 2010
Focusing on Senior Pedestrians, US DOT
Related Web Resources:
Elderly Pedestrians, WalkingInfo.org

District of Columbia DMV

Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog

Pedestrian Accidents, Washington DC Injury Lawyer Blog

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is a higher risk of pedestrian accidents occurring after Daylight Saving Time has ended. Daylight Saving Time will be over for the year on Sunday and clocks will be turned back one hour.

Adjusting to the new low-light environment can take time, and NHTSA is warning motorists and pedestrians to exercise more caution so as prevent pedestrian accidents from happening.

For motorists, NHTSA is recommending that you:
• Make sure your windows, windshield, and mirrors are clean and free of frost or fog.
• Slow down.

• Don’t assume that a pedestrian knows that you are there.

NHTSA is recommending that pedestrians:
• Look before crossing the street—even if the traffic light indicates that you can go ahead and you are at a pedestrian crosswalk.
• Avoid crossing between parked vehicles.
• Avoid jaywalking.
• Walk on sidewalks.
• Face traffic when walking on the street.

• Do not assume that a motorist can sees you.

Of 4,092 people killed in US pedestrian accidents last year, 25% died between 4pm and 8pm when there was less light out. 13% of the pedestrian fatalities took place between 4am and 8am.

Our Washington DC pedestrian accident lawyers know that it can be tough to recover from injuries sustained in a traffic crash. Also, medical costs and recovery expenses can take their financial toll. There may be a negligent motorist or another party who should be held liable for your DC personal injury or a loved one’s wrongful death.

Consumer Advisory: As Daylight Saving Time Ends, NHTSA Cautions Drivers on Increased Pedestrian Risk, NHTSA, November 5, 2010
Car Accidents with Pedestrians, Nolo
Related Web Resources:

DC Pedestrian

Q&As: Pedestrians, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

Maryland Accident Law Blog

Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog

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One of the two women who was struck in a Washington DC pedestrian accident on September 8th has died. The victim, Julia Bachleitner, was a 26-year-old Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies graduate student from Austria. She was taken off life support yesterday.

Bachleitner and Melissa Basque, another student, were standing on a traffic island and waiting for the light to change in the Adams Morgan neighborhood when a vehicle driven by an alleged drunken driver hit them. One witness says that the force of the collision caused the women to be thrown at least 30 feet. They both sustained serious injuries. Basque was released from the hospital on Friday.

Meantime, the allegedly inebriated motorist, 23-year-old Chamica M. Adams, was arrested at the Adams Morgan pedestrian crash site. She did not sustain any injuries from the Washington DC motor vehicle crash.

According to one witness, after Adams’ vehicle struck the two women, she drove her car through the front window of a restaurant. Fortunately, even though there were people in the restaurant no one was hurt.

Adams has been charged with driving while intoxicated and aggravated assault. Following Bachleitner’s passing, however, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says that the criminal charges may be changed to involuntary manslaughter.

Pedestrian Accidents

With little protection from the impact of getting hit by a car, bus, truck, or SUV, pedestrians are at risk of suffering serious injuries during a traffic crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 4,092 US pedestrian deaths and 59,000 pedestrian injuries in 2009. Many of these injured pedestrians had to undergo surgeries and other costly medical care to recover.

You may be able to hold the negligent motorist liable.

Student Pulled Off Life Support After Being Struck By Driver, MyFox Washington DC, September 14, 2010
Driver hits 2 pedestrians, crashes into Adams Morgan restaurant, officials say, Washington Post, September 9, 2010

Highlights of 2009 Motor Vehicle Crashes (PDF)

Related Web Resources:
Impaired Driving Facts, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

DC Department of Transportation

Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog

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According to Allstate Insurance, Baltimore and Washington DC rank second to last respectively among the country’s 200 largest cities when it comes to having the best drivers. While drivers in Fort Collins, Colorado, the city that ranked number one, on average get into car accidents just once every 14.5 years, District drivers get into Washington DC car accidents approximately once every 5.1 years—a 96% higher rate than that of the average US motorist. Meantime, Baltimore motorists are 79% more likely to get into a Maryland car accident than the average US driver. The two cities’ rankings were the same as from the year before.

Our Maryland and Washington DC car accident law firm wants to remind you that we offer free case evaluations to traffic accident victims and their families in both states. It is important that you have an injury team advocating on your behalf to ensure that you receive all the personal injury and wrongful death recovery owed yo you.

Steps that you can take to avoid causing a Washington DC motor vehicle crash:
• Don’t drive drunk
• Make sure that your vehicle is up to date on all maintenance checks
• Don’t text message while driving
• Avoid speeding
• Avoid following too closely behind the car in front of you
• Don’t let your anger get the better of you and turn into an aggressive driver
• Adjust your driving according to the weather, road, and traffic conditions
• Keep both eyes on the road
• Avoid distracted driving
Sixth Annual “Allstate America’s Best Drivers Report™” Reveals New Safest Driving City, Allstate, September 22, 2010

Download the Report (PDF)

Related Web Resources:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

70 Rules of Defensive Driving, Roadtrip America

Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog

Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog

Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog

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11-year-old Zachary Hodges has died. The boy passed away on July 12 one day after sustaining a severe head injury during a Georgetown pedestrian accident in Washington DC.

The woman whose car struck Hodges did not sustain any injuries. Following the Washington DC pedestrian accident site, the driver and her passenger stayed at the crash site.

Hodges is not from the area. His family was in Washington DC for a visit when the tragic accident occurred.

Child Pedestrians

Young children are at high risk of becoming involved in a pedestrian accident. Not only are they smaller and harder for some motorists to see, but they lack the judgment to known when it is safe to cross the street, sometimes opting to run into the road to pick up a ball or get to their friends who are playing on the opposite sidewalk. Many young children have no real sense that crossing the street can be dangerous. They may have a hard time gauging how fast a car is moving or whether there is enough time to cross the road before they are hit by a motor vehicle.

Although parents are responsible for training their child to safely cross the street and making sure that younger kids do not cross the street without adult supervision, it is still a motorist’s responsibility to drive safely, obey the traffic laws, and refrain from negligent or careless driving so that they don’t accidentally injure a pedestrian.

Name Of Texas Boy Killed In D.C. Auto-Pedestrian Accident Released, KWTX, July 13, 2010
Boy struck by car in Georgetown dies, The Washington Post, July 12, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Educating Child Pedestrians, WalkingInfo

District Department of Transportation

Maryland Accident Law Blog

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According to a new report, the local governments in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia are doing a good job in their efforts to crack down on distracted driving. The report from the Governors Highway Safety Association is called “Curbing Distracted Driving: 2010 Survey of State Safety Programs.”

The report notes that combating distracted driving has become a priority for many states, with many of them enacting tougher laws and coming up with more education programs and media campaigns to educate people about the dangers of driving while distracted. The District (along with Maryland and 42 other state) also now make it a point to collect distracted driving data when Washington DC motor vehicle crashes occur. Also, Washington DC now includes the issue of distracted driving in its driver education classes and driver’s license test, while using social networking sites to make known the dangers of cell phone talking and texting while driving.

The GHSA’s report, however, does note that more effort across the board needs to be made to get teenagers to become more aware that distracted driving is dangerous. Seeing as multi-tasking while driving is dangerous for even the most experienced drivers, it is important that teens, who have the least amount of experience when it comes to operating a motor vehicle, have their full attention on the task at hand so that they don’t increase their chance of injury or death.

Distracted driving has fast become a leading cause of US car crashes—especially with the so many people using cell phones to talk and text while driving. According to AAA, distracted driving is a cause of about 3 million auto accidents each years.

Our Washington DC car accident lawyers know how devastating it is to lose someone you love in a motor vehicle crash that could have been prevented were it not for other parties’ negligence.

Region’s Distracted Driving Crackdown Gets High Marks, WJLA, June 16, 2010
Curbing Distracted Driving: 2010 Survey of State Safety Programs, GHSA
Related Web Resources:

District Department of Transportation

AAA Exchange

Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog

Maryland Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Blog

Trucking Accident Lawyer Blog

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A 62-year-old retired police officer was injured on Friday night when he was hit by a Chevy SUV. Bill Tinker was crossing H Street, NW, at New Jersey Avenue from a Police Week food and beverage area when the Washington DC pedestrian accident happened.

The impact of the Washington DC car crash knocked Tinker out of his shoes and into the windshield of the vehicle that struck him before he landed on the ground. He broke several bones and had to be evaluated for possible head injuries.

Washington DC Pedestrian Accidents

When a pedestrian is injured during a Washington DC car accident, one of the first issues that investigators will try to resolve is who was at fault in causing the pedestrian accident. DId the pedestrian, the motorist, or another party cause the crash?

In most pedestrian accidents, it is the person walking who will have sustained the more serious injuries. Pedestrians don’t have anything to serve as a buffer between them and the impact of getting struck by a car, a motorcycle, a truck, or a bus. Pedestrian injuries can be catastrophic and the medical and recovery expenses can be astronomical. Seniors and children are at most risk of getting hurt or dying in a pedestrian accident.

Granted, in most Washington DC pedestrian accident cases involving a liable motorist, the negligent party likely never intended to hurt anyone. However, the driver can still be held accountable for the injuries, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Police Week Participant Struck By Car, MyFoxDC.com, May 16, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Car Accidents With Pedestrians, Nolo
Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety, FHWA Safety
Maryland Car Accident Attorney Blog

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US News & World Report has just put out its first Best States for Teen Drivers ranking and the District of Columbia tops the list. One reason for this is that Washington DC has some of the strictest laws governing teen drivers and their driving requirements. The state of Maryland placed 4th. This is good news for Washington DC and Maryland teen drivers, considering that car accidents are considered the number one cause of fatalities to teens in the 16-19 age group. Over 4,000 teenagers die every year.

That said, there is always more that can be done to prevent the number of Washington DC car accidents involving teen drivers.

Per a recent study about teen drivers by Allstate Foundation:

• 61% of teens are concerned they might get involved in a car accident
• 82% of teen drivers say that they use a cell phone when operating a motor vehicle
• 42% say that they text message and instant message when driving
• 65% of teenaged drivers think that they are good motorists that pay attention when driving
• Parents are the #1 influence when it comes to teenage drivers

It is so important that teens aren’t distracted when driving. Learning how to drive safely and correctly is challenging enough without the dangers posed by cell phone conversations, text messages, alcohol, or drugs.

Washington DC has a graduated licensing program (Gradual Rearing of Adult Drivers) that imposes certain temporary restrictions on young drivers so that they can gradually gain experience. Also, DC drivers with a learner’s permit are banned from using any kind of cell phone while driving and all Washington DC drivers are prohibited from texting and talking on a handheld cell phone.

D.C. Tops New Ranking of Safest Places for Teen Drivers, US News & World Report, March 18, 2010
U.S. News Media Group and Allstate Insurance Company Release 2010 Best States for Teen Drivers, PR Newswire, March 18, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Teen Drivers, CDC
The Graduated Licensing Program, District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles
Allstate Foundation

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