With the back-to-school season in full swing, Montgomery County has seen a rise in pedestrian accidents. Local police say that in 2013, the Maryland county has already seen more pedestrian accidents than the entire prior year combined. Some are worried the injury total will continue to rise higher as children go back to school.
“Traffic crashes, whether students are pedestrians or passengers or even drivers in the car are the number one cause of death for your kids,” says Debra Hersman, Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, recently told ABC Channel 7.
Unfortunately, Montgomery County has been the source of several recent pedestrian accidents. This morning, a 70-year-old woman died from her injuries suffered after she was struck on Thursday by an oncoming car as she walked across Georgia Avenue in Wheaton.
Just yesterday, a 14-year-old boy was struck and critically injured near the Twinbrook Parkway and Viers Mill Road intersection in Rockville. The teen was attempting to cross the road when he was hit by an oncoming car. Last week, a car struck a pedestrian near Redland Road and Muncaster Mill Road in Derwood. The pedestrian suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized, according to news reports.
Recognizing the increasing number of pedestrian injuries, Montgomery County is spending $50,000 on a parking lot safety program. In 2012, there were 423 pedestrian-related vehicle accidents, more than 30% of which occurred in parking lots. In a noteworthy incident, a North Potomac resident drove through the parking lot of the Gaithersburg Sam’s Club store in July, hitting two pedestrians and one store patron.
The Cochran Firm DC urges drivers to take simple precautionary measures that could save a pedestrian’s life or prevent an injury. Thomas Gianni, chief of the Maryland Highway Safety Office, recently told WTOP that Maryland drivers should drive at a safe speed, yield the right of way, and obey street lights and stop signs. We agree with Gianni’s advice. By following this straightforward advice, lives may be saved and avoidable injuries prevented.