Common Ways Pedestrian Accidents Occur in Maryland

Many common accidents in city settings typically occur as pedestrians cross at a crosswalk or at controlled intersections. Much of this may be contributed to the volume of traffic and many distractions of congested traffic or where cars are turning right on a red traffic light and do not look out for pedestrians in the crosswalk.

In rural areas, pedestrian accidents in Maryland may occur specifically roadways without sidewalks where pedestrians may be running or walking or when the driver is not paying attention or considering that they need to share the road. More dangerous situations for pedestrians occur at night, if there is alcohol involved, or there is limited visibility.

Scenarios Where Accidents May Occur

Pedestrian collisions in parking lots are somewhat frequent because of the volume of people walking in parking lots to and from their cars, many times while vehicles are backing up. Theses accidents can, therefore, occur anytime a driver does not use caution or pay attention to their surroundings.

Another scenario where pedestrian collisions occur is when cars are exiting parking lots onto the street. The driver of the vehicle that is exiting a parking lot has the responsibility to yield the right of way to any pedestrians and to yield the right of way to the traffic on the highway. While the majority of accidents are vehicle to vehicle collisions, pedestrian accidents do occur in this situation

Types of People Commonly Involved

One of the most frequent types of people that are commonly involved in pedestrian accidents are children. If a child is playing unsupervised on the road and is not cognizant of cars, there is a significant risk for an accident, especially if drivers are not reasonably careful in neighborhood settings where there is an expectation for people to be around and kids playing.

In these situations, vehicle drivers need to be aware of their surroundings, the lowered speed limits through residential areas, and cognizant of the many instances with pedestrians around. It is important for pedestrians to be reasonable too. Kids and adults should use sidewalks as much as possible and remain out of the roadway. In the case they are on the roadway, pedestrians should be facing against traffic.

In dart-out cases, where children or adults are running out into the street and the driver could not see them coming, for example, when a person runs out between two parked vehicles, the law will not protect the pedestrian. Kids of all ages need to be aware of their surroundings and act reasonably – no darting out in front of vehicles.

With that said, in Maryland, a child five and under cannot be deemed contributorily negligent. When dealing with a younger child who is lawfully either in a crosswalk or crossing the roadway, and the child is in a collision with a vehicle, then that child cannot be deemed contributorily negligent due to his age.

Elderly People

The elderly sometimes move slower and they have to be aware of certain situations, for example, a crosswalk with a timed walk light. It is important to be aware that the lights could change while someone is crossing the roadway. Although the pedestrian has the right, once in the crosswalk, to get to the other side, they still must be aware of the approaching traffic.


The volume of tourists unfamiliar with their surroundings and the area, in general, can contribute to the frequency of collisions. Particularly in higher tourist seasons, such as spring and summer there are often more collisions involving pedestrians.

Tips for Out of State Pedestrians

Out-of-state pedestrians, need to take precautions to become familiar with their surroundings, not take chances, pay close attention to traffic control devices, and take their time. Do not take chances of being too bold when crossing particularly high speed or high traffic volume roadways. From the perspective of the safety of the out-of-state pedestrian, it is helpful to find out information about the area, where they are coming from, and where they are going, to plot a safe route for them to get to where they are going. They can also ask those familiar with the area how best to get there and generally just be aware of any differences of the responsibilities of the pedestrian in the area in which they are walking, running, exercising, playing, and doing everything that pedestrians do.

Traffic Laws to be Aware Of

It is important for out-of-state visitors to know that walking in an unmarked crosswalk puts the burden on the pedestrian to yield the right of way to the vehicle. That is very significant because if there is a collision at that kind of intersection where there is an unmarked crosswalk if the pedestrian suffers a sustained injury, will, unfortunately, have a harder time seeking compensation for those injuries because of the duty of the pedestrian to yield the right of way to the vehicle.

Generally, out-of-state visitors should be aware that they have a duty and responsibility to be reasonable, aware of their surroundings, look out for vehicles, and generally be cognizant enough to try to avoid any collision, even if the vehicle driver can be held responsible—just for general safety and welfare of not wanting to be involved in a collision.

Dangers of Walking & Running in Maryland

First of all, if there is a sidewalk, it is the pedestrian’s responsibility to walk or run on the sidewalk. If there is not a sidewalk, then some areas have running and walking trails and they should contain themselves within the trail. If neither of those exist and the only way to be able to pass through an area is on a roadway, then they need to be aware that they need to be walking or running on the roadway in the opposite direction of vehicle traffic. If they are not doing so and there is a collision, that may be considered a basis for contributory negligence.