Traffic fatalities involving car occupants have been on a steady decline over the last few years. That may be due to better car designs, new safety features and stricter distracted driving laws. The same can't be said about pedestrians and bicyclists. Unlike motorists, they don't have the protection of seatbelts, airbags and heavy structural framework.
Besides wearing helmets, bicyclists have to rely on awareness and defensive riding skills. Pedestrians have to rely on keen judgment of the actions of drivers when crossing the street. In 2018, there were 6,283 pedestrian fatalities across the U.S., which was up from 5,977 in 2017. Seven of those fatalities happened in Maine.
In 2018, there were 857 bicycle deaths across the United States, a six percent increase from the previous year. Two of those bicycle fatalities happened in Maine.
Inattentive driving & lack of safety concerns
Crashes involving vulnerable road users, such pedestrians and bicyclists, are often the result of two negligent driving behaviors:
- Inattentiveness: It's bad enough that there are many drivers on the road who drive distracted or don't pay attention to what's going on around them. Pedestrians and bicyclists can be difficult to see, especially at night. When drivers aren't paying attention, they often put lives in danger.
- Lack of regard for vulnerable road users: Some drivers think the road is all about them. They see other road users as a nuisance and not as worthy of sharing the road.
Other common causes of serious and fatal crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists include:
- Speeding and aggressive driving
- Drunk or drugged driving
- Drowsy driving
- Hazardous weather or slippery roads
- Sometimes mechanical defects and failures
How serious are pedestrian & bicyclist injuries?
Pedestrians and bicyclists who survive crashes often sustain the worst kinds of crash-related injuries. These include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Severe bone fractures
- Severe soft tissue injuries
- Nerve damage
- Damage to vital organs
- Severe spinal injuries
- Crushed limbs
In many cases, crash victims require reconstructive surgery and several months of physical therapy before they recover from their injuries. Some never make full recoveries and can never engage in the same activities they once did or perform the same job functions at work.
What's worse, crash victims are often stuck with a heap of medical bills while they're unable to work and earn a paycheck. If you or a loved one was injured in a crash caused by a negligent driver, the Maine attorneys at the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein can help you in the pursuit of justice.
Our team of lawyers and legal professionals have a wealth of knowledge and experience. To learn more, contact our firm online and schedule your free case evaluation.