Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

A record-breaking number of Maine pedestrian accidents in recent years is vexing traffic safety officials.  Maine Public Radio reported pedestrian accident deaths nationally last year were the highest they had been in 30 years. In Maine, officials recorded a 24-year high in 2017. This year is not shaping up to be any safer.

The biggest factor, as noted by numerous traffic safety officials and our own Portland pedestrian accident lawyers, is distraction. Smartphones are the most ubiquitous example, with the average adult spending four hours daily on their phones. A recent comprehensive data analysis by Zendrive reveals distracted driving is 100 times worse than government data reports. These statistics illustrate the real risks when it comes to walking on Maine roads.

Maine Pedestrian Accident Injuries and Deaths Reported Last Three Months

If recent headlines in the Portland Press-Herald and Lewiston Sun-Journal are any indication, it’s unlikely the trend will ease anytime soon. Among those incidents:

  • In April, a 40-year-old woman was struck and killed in a pedestrian accident reportedly caused by a drunk driver on Yarmouth Road. The 58-year-old driver was arrested. Her 11-year-old daughter was also in the vehicle.
  • A few weeks earlier, a 21-year-old woman walking on Franklin Street was struck by a 23-year-old male driver. The Portland pedestrian accident resulted in serious but not life-threatening injuries.
  • In February, a woman was struck and killed in a Turner pedestrian accident involving a truck on Route 4.
  • Also in February, a 36-year-old woman in Lisbon was struck by a box truck while jogging on Route 196. She told police she tried to jump out of the way when the truck veered toward her, but the vehicle nonetheless knocked her to the ground. Although it was early morning, the woman was wearing an illuminated running vest. The 25-year-old driver reportedly did not stop and is facing criminal charges.

Continue reading

Hit-and-run accidents in Maine (and nationwide) are a rapidly rising concern, highlighted by an alarming new report indicating hit-and-run deaths have a record-high nationally. 

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that in a single recent year, there were 737,000 total hit-and-run crashes tallied with 2,049 deaths. Both of these figures are the most ever recorded since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began recording in 1975. Hit-and-run crashes account for 12 percent of the total crashes in the U.S., 7 percent of all injuries and 5.5 percent of all car accident deaths.

In Maine, there were a total of seven hit-and-run crashes resulted in death recorded that year. On one hand, that’s one of the lowest figures of fatal hit-and-runs in the country. However, the data is presented in raw numbers, failing to factor in population. Beyond that, those seven crashes amounted to a 75 percent year-over-year increase and the highest reported in the last decade. We had four straight years in that time with zero hit-and-run crash deaths, and the year before that, there one deadly hit-and-run crash.  Continue reading

The death of a man in a Maine pedestrian accident is being blamed on an impaired driver who has since been arrested for multiple felonies. The Portland-Press Herald reported the crash happened near the entrance of a Target store, where the victim was reportedly exiting. He was 24 and died at the scene.

The defendant reportedly left the scene of the crash, abandoning her vehicle a few miles away before having a friend pick her up to take her to a nearby residence.

Continue reading

A Maine woman has reportedly confessed to striking three pedestrians at a bus stop in New Hampshire, resulting in life-threatening injuries to each of those hit. 

According to WGME.com, the three pedestrians had just gotten off a bus stop and were crossing the street when a vehicle approached from a hill and struck all three. Witnesses at a nearby hotel opined the vehicle was traveling at least at the speed limit of 45 mph, if not faster. Two of those struck were a young couple who lived just across the street from where the crash happened. They were all three still in the road when first responders arrived. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene but later turned herself in to local authorities and confessed.

Pedestrian accidents are a serious problem in Maine and elsewhere in the country. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), pedestrian fatalities increased by 9.5 percent from 2014 to 2015 (the most recent year for which initial counts are available). That amounted to 466 more deaths in 2015 than the year before, which brought the final tally – 5,376 pedestrian accident deaths – to the highest it’s been since 1996.

Continue reading

The death of a 13-year-old boy, struck and killed in a crosswalk on his way to school in Lewiston, has devastated a community and raised important questions about the lack of pedestrian safety in Maine. 

Police say the eighth grader was crossing Main Street at Frye Street – in the crosswalk – when he was struck by a driver operating a Ford F-150 pickup truck. The driver of the vehicle, a 54-year-old woman, is reportedly cooperating with authorities. It is believed that after the initial impact, the truck dragged the young boy some distance up the street until the vehicle stopped and the driver discovered the child underneath. The incident occurred at around 7:10 a.m., as the boy was making his way to school.

According to the Maine Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Highway Safety, Cumberland County – including Portland – had by far the most pedestrian accidents of any county in the state over the last several years. Between 2008 and 2012, there were 408 pedestrian accidents in Cumberland County. Comparatively, there were 205 in York, 167 in Androscoggin, 169 in Penobscot, and 111 in Kennebec. In the last decade, there have been between nine and 14 pedestrian fatalities a year in Maine.

Continue reading

A driver was recently critically injured following a three-car crash that ended with one vehicle slamming into the front of the Gothic building in downtown Belfast, an hour south of Bangor. 

According to The Bangor Daily News, officers believe an older man in a Sedan with Massachusetts plates was speeding down the hill on Maine Street around 1 p.m. when he suddenly crossed into opposing traffic and slammed into a van at a five-way intersection. He then drove straight into a parked vehicle and then into the front of a building. The parked vehicle was also sent flying up over the curb, just in front of the Bangor Savings Bank.

The occupants of that parked vehicle – which included a toddler in his car seat – were not seriously injured.  Continue reading

A number of crashes involving pedestrians have been reported in recent weeks, prompting a reminder from our  pedestrian accident lawyers that motorists must be more cautious of those traversing the roads by foot.

Officials report that a 75-year-old pedestrian in Portland suffered serious injuries after being struck by a vehicle on Forest Avenue. The man was struck as he crossed Forest Avenue by a 26-year-old driver. The crash remains under investigation.

A short time later, a pedestrian accident in Farmington left a 26-year-old jogger wounded after she was struck by a pickup truck driven by a 25-year-old man. Authorities say the pickup truck was likely traveling too fast and began to slide on the icy road. The driver tried to swerve to avoid the jogger, but ended up hitting her anyway before slamming into a snowbank. Wind and freezing rain conditions meant the LifeFlight helicopter was unable to make it to the scene. The victim was driven by ambulance to a nearby hospital, where she was recently upgraded to fair condition.

It was shortly after 5:30 p.m. when a 74-year-old Bangor man was struck by a tractor-trailer as he crossed the street, headed to an early evening Sunday service in Brewer.

The man suffered critical injuries as a result of the impact, which rendered him unconscious, though he continued to breathe and maintained a heartbeat in the immediate aftermath. Large gashes to his head, knees and elbows were visible to first-responders.

It’s accidents like this that Portland officials are looking to combat with a bid for some $10 million in transportation funding for projects to revamp city streets, intersections and pedestrian pathways. These projects would ideally incorporate smart road designs that would make them safer for everyone who travels in the area.

Continue reading

Officials with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) and the New England Passenger Authority (NNEPRA) will be working together for some research work to develop and test new trespass detection and deterrent technologies. They will be researching high-risk areas along the Amtrak’s Downeaster rail line and the Pan Am Railway in the Brunswick area. Their goal is to find a way to successfully mitigate trespassing in these areas.”Illegal trespassing is the number one cause of rail-related fatalities in the United States,” said Governor Paul R. LePage.

Our Portland railroad accident attorneys understand that the number of pedestrian railroad deaths is on the rise. According to a recent article from St. Louis Today, the number of pedestrian fatalities at railroad tracks increased by more than 25 percent during the first five months of 2013, compared to the same time period in 2012. During this time, in 2013, there were close to 200 fatalities witnessed across the nation, compared to 158 during the same time in 2012.

Continue reading

As the winter thaw gives way to spring, more pedestrians will be out on the roads in Maine this summer. This means that drivers of cars and other motor vehicles need to start keeping their eyes open for walkers and joggers in order to avoid a potentially disastrous accident.

Our Bangor pedestrian injury attorneys know that there are lots of safe walking areas for pedestrians. However, there are also some dangerous areas where pedestrians could be at higher risk of getting hurt in a crash. In fact, any time drivers and pedestrians are sharing a road together, there is a risk. We urge pedestrians to stay safe and to ensure they are walking only in safe areas and we urge drivers to treat pedestrians with respect on the roads.

Pedestrian Safety Tips
The best safety tip for walkers is that those who are walking for pleasure or for fun should consider doing so on designated trails and off-road areas, far from cars that could present a danger. The MaineDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Program has made it a mission to ensure that pedestrian infrastructure is strong in the state and the Program uses federal funding to facilitate safety initiatives and improve the community environment by building pedestrian projects.

According to the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program Yearly Report, a number of sidewalks and trails were completed throughout the Bangor area last year in order to improve safety. These include sidewalks on Odlin Road as well as the creation of a new paved pedestrian and bicycle trail near Bath Commercial Street.

Pedestrians who walk on designated trails and designated recreation areas won’t have to worry as much about being hurt by negligent drivers of cars nearby, so those who walk for fun or exercise may wish to review the information from the Bicycle and Pedestrian Program to find safe places to walk.

Pedestrians should also wear bright colored clothing, avoid walking at night whenever possible and never walk when intoxicated, as this can up the risk of a pedestrian accident occurring.

Drivers Help to Keep Pedestrians Safe
While some pedestrians may be able to stay on recreational trails, others are going to need to walk on roads that are shared with cars. In these situations, the drivers of the passenger cars play the biggest role in ensuring the pedestrians are safe.

Drivers of cars should ensure that:

  • They check carefully for pedestrians in designated crosswalks and intersections.
  • They drive at or below the speed limit depending upon weather conditions so they can stop in time if they encounter a pedestrian
  • They exercise extra caution when driving through residential neighborhoods where children might be outside
  • They yield the right-of-way to pedestrians when it is the pedestrian’s turn
  • They refrain from driving while they are distracted or while they are too tired to pay attention
  • They refrain from driving while intoxicated or impaired by either alcohol or drugs

A driver who makes a wrongful or negligent choice when encountering a pedestrian can be held legally liable for any injuries that the pedestrian may suffer in the resulting accident.

Continue reading