Pedestrian and bicycle accidents can be particularly dangerous in Massachusetts due to the mix of urban and suburban environments, high traffic volumes, and sometimes inadequate infrastructure for non-motorized transportation. Boston in particular has densely populated areas with heavy traffic and older roadways, increasing the risk of collisions with pedestrians and cyclists.
As a result, efforts to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety through infrastructure enhancements, public awareness campaigns, and law enforcement measures have become crucial in reducing the frequency and severity of such accidents. With the number of accidents in mind in our city, Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has launched the Safety Surge program, aiming to enhance street safety and reduce traffic accidents.
The Boston-based personal injury lawyers at Breakstone, White & Gluck have long represented victims of these types of accidents, succeeding in securing millions of dollars in restitution. Here are just a few of our successes with pedestrian and bicycle accidents in Massachusetts:
- $7,100,000 Bus Accident – Bus runs over pedestrian.
- $2,150,000 Pedestrian Accident – Absence of pedestrian bollards at strip mall, results in sidewalk car strike and death.
- $3,000,000 For child cyclist hit by pick-up truck – Suffers traumatic brain injury, multiple fractures, and internal injuries.
- $1,800,000 Bicyclist hit in crosswalk – Mild traumatic brain injury, post-concussion syndrome.
Boston to possibly become safer for pedestrians
Mayor Wu’s Safety Surge program includes the installation of speed hump zones on neighborhood streets, intersection redesigns, and new traffic signal guidelines to slow down traffic on residential roads. The initiative was launched in response to a study revealing a 35 percent increase in pedestrian deaths in Massachusetts in 2022, with Boston having the highest numbers among all cities.
The speed hump zones, comprising small, connected areas of streets, will be constructed in designated locations prioritizing areas with a history of accidents and high risk of fatalities or injuries. The city has identified zones to be installed over the next three years, including locations such as Roxbury, Brighton, Dorchester and West Roxbury. Residents can also propose eligible streets for speed hump installation through the city’s website.
What about dangerous intersections?
In addition to speed hump zones, the program will focus on redesigning intersections and major roadways to improve visibility, address unsafe speeding, and create safer crossings. At least 25 intersections will be redesigned annually, with priority given to non-signalized intersections based on safety history, community demographics, proximity to important areas, and community concerns. The program will also update the city’s traffic signal guidelines to reduce collision risks and provide pedestrians with a head start to cross streets safely. Implementation of “No Turn on Red” regulations and “auto recall” for pedestrian walk signs will be increased in around 50 intersections each year.
The Safety Surge program is part of broader efforts by the city to enhance driving safety along major corridors, including Blue Hill Avenue, Centre Street, Cummins Highway, and Tremont Street. The Boston Globe quoted Mayor Wu, stating:
Our streets should be a source of connection, not a threat to our safety, and we want to make sure that we’re not rationing that safety in limited areas across the city. We want to be proactive, preventative, and really work with communities at a much broader scale and much more accelerated pace to make this happen.
How common are pedestrian accidents in Boston?
A study conducted by WalkBoston reveals a significant increase in fatal pedestrian crashes in Massachusetts during 2022, with over 100 people struck and killed by car drivers. The fatality rate surged by 35% compared to the previous year. Shockingly, 71% of these pedestrian deaths occurred in “environmental justice” neighborhoods, where residents are primarily low-income, non-English speaking, or belong to minority groups. The fatality rate was notably higher for adults aged 65 and older, despite comprising only 17% of the state’s population. WalkBoston attributes the rise in pedestrian fatalities to poor road design that fails to address speeding issues.
To address the alarming trend, WalkBoston urges state and local governments to prioritize the most dangerous locations and implement measures to make streets safer. The organization calls on MassDOT to release a plan outlining strategies for improving street safety. Various cities across Massachusetts reported pedestrian fatalities, with Boston, Worcester, and Chicopee having the highest numbers. Initiatives like the Roxbury Transportation Corridors project aim to improve “trouble spots” in urban areas. While government action is essential, WalkBoston emphasizes the importance of driver awareness, encouraging them to slow down and be more vigilant to prevent accidents and protect pedestrians.
How can a Massachusetts personal injury attorney help me?
If you are involved in an accident as a pedestrian and sustain injuries, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Breakstone, White & Gluck are ready to advocate for your rights and provide you with the legal support you need. Our team has a proven track record of representing pedestrians who have been injured due to the negligence of others and securing fair compensation for their damages.
When you reach out to us, we will begin by conducting a thorough investigation of the accident to determine liability and gather evidence to support your claim. Our attorneys will work diligently to establish the responsible party’s negligence, whether it’s a negligent driver, poorly designed intersection, or any other factor contributing to the accident.
We understand the devastating impact pedestrian accidents can have on your life, physically, emotionally, and financially. Our attorneys will help you navigate the complex legal process, handle all communication with insurance companies, and fight for the maximum compensation you deserve. We will assess all your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses, to ensure that you receive a fair settlement.
At Breakstone, White & Gluck, we prioritize your well-being and will provide compassionate guidance throughout the entire process. Our attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights and holding responsible parties accountable for their actions. If necessary, we are prepared to take your case to court and fight for your rights before a judge and jury.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, don’t hesitate to call us at our Boston office or use our contact page to schedule a free consultation. Our team is committed to helping you recover and obtain the compensation you need to rebuild your life after a serious accident.