Unfortunately, things appear to be getting worse for pedestrians and others here in Rhode Island: according to the latest statistics, pedestrian deaths due to vehicle strikes increased by four percent in 2018, and more than 6,000 people were killed—the highest number in 30 years. 75 percent of these deaths occur after dark, and a significant percentage were found to have high blood-alcohol levels of .08 percent or more.
Things have also become more dangerous for motorcyclists, especially in specific areas such as Providence, in Pleasant Valley Parkway and in Silver Lake, as well as in East Providence, on Taunton Avenue, as we discuss below.
More Motorcycle and Pedestrian Deaths
While overall Rhode Island saw fewer traffic fatalities in 2018 than 2017, motorcycle fatalities have surged. Experts aren’t sure if this is due to an increase in distracted driving or simply due to more motorcycles present on the road; however, the increase in deaths could also be due to lower fuel prices (which leads to more driving) and more people using their phones. Another factor is an increased prevalence of light trucks, such as SUVs, which, in the event of an accident, tend to lead to more severe pedestrian and motorcyclist impacts than compact vehicles. Rhode Island does have a new hands-free law in place that bars the use of cellphones while driving in an attempt to decrease distracted driving.
Where Is It the Worst?
Unfortunately, one of the most dangerous areas in Rhode Island is Taunton Avenue, so much so that some have started calling it “death highway.” Every year, the number of crashes increases by approximately 14 percent, and just since 2010, close to 30 people have died in the stretch from Randolph to Berkley on Route 24, with close to 7,000 crashes on that 25-mile stretch just since 2002. Many are sincerely concerned that they may die on the road due to the high prevalence of negligence exhibited by drivers.
In trying to explain the high number of accidents and fatalities along this specific highway, experts point to poorly designed interchanges that are too short and too sharp, with on-ramps that force drivers to quickly slow down, all while merging lanes are short, which then requires them to quickly speed up in order to keep up with oncoming motorists traveling at 80 miles per hour. However, ultimately, according to the drivers on this road, speeding is the real culprit, whereby every driver feels compelled to drive at least 80 miles per hour because everyone else is going 100.
Contact Our Providence Car Accident Attorneys to Find Out More
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle motorcycle, and/or pedestrian accident, contact our professional Providence personal injury attorneys today to discuss your options and find out how we can help.
Mark Dana has been practicing in Rhode Island for over 25 years. He has handled hundreds of cases in courthouses throughout the state. Due to Attorney Dana’s knowledge and reputation, he can often be seen appearing as the legal commentator for NBC 10 in Providence.