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Rise in fatal auto accidents sparks investment in safety programs

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Road safety is a primary concern in Maryland. With that, legislators and law enforcement are regularly seeking strategies to help avoid auto accidents with injuries and fatalities. Bicyclists and pedestrians are especially vulnerable. Considering the number of accidents in which people are seriously injured and lose their lives, it is important to understand ways to reduce the chance of being in a crash. Still, even with initiatives and educational campaigns, certain dangers will remain. After a car accident, people who have been impacted should understand their options.

Close to $1 million will be used for safety initiatives

The state will distribute close to $1 million in grants to law enforcement and organizations to try and make the roads safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. This is a major concern due to the statistical rise in fatalities in recent years. According to the numbers, 573 people were killed in auto accidents in the state in 2020. Fifteen of them were bicyclists and 125 were pedestrians. This was something of a surprise because of the reduction in overall traffic for most of the year because of the societal changes that were necessary. There was less than half the volume of traffic in April 2020 vs. 2019.

As things have incrementally returned to some semblance of normalcy with people heading back to in-person work, schools reopening and leisure activities starting up again, there has been more traffic, but it is still 6% lower than it was prior to the health crisis. Accidents have been more serious because drivers are speeding, driving while distracted and committing other violations due to the open roads. The grants hope to educate and provide alternatives for people to have a safer environment.

Despite safety campaigns, accidents are still a primary risk

Because bicyclists and pedestrians are not accorded any level of protection if they are in a car accident, they are prone to suffering serious injuries and losing their lives. With the prevalence of distraction, recklessness, drivers under the influence and other examples of dangerous behavior, no amount of money or safety initiatives will prevent all collisions. When there is a crash, there will be a litany of problems for them and their families. Financial, personal and emotional challenges are likely. From the start, it is important to have professional advice to know what steps are available in the aftermath.