In 2012, just under 5,000 pedestrians were killed and approximately 76,000 were injured in traffic accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. That means that a staggering 14% of pedestrians accounted for all road and traffic fatalities. In 2007, there were 16,488 reported cases of traffic accidents involving pedestrians. In New York City in an attempt to battle pedestrian accidents and fatalities, the speed limit was reduced from 30 mph to 25 mph. The top three causes of pedestrian-auto accidents include pedestrian confusion, driver distraction, and failure to yield right of way.
It is a sad truth that many drivers do not take pedestrian rights or safety seriously. Drivers must obey the rules of the road and drive safely at all times, just as pedestrians equally need to obey the rules of the road and take safety precautions. Pedestrian injuries from car accidents tend to be grave if not fatal. Even a tap on the human body from a slow moving vehicle can cause significant injuries.
Top Reasons for Pedestrian Accidents In New York City
Limited or obstructed view and glares
Limited or obstructed views are extremely dangerous and can directly affect both drivers and pedestrians by limiting the vision of oncoming traffic and pedestrians in the area. Glares are another type of obstruction of view and lessens ones ability to see clearly. The inability to see the landscape clearly may result in serious injuries or death.
Slippery or Wet Pavement
Slippery or wet pavement is particularly dangerous for both drivers and pedestrians. It is hazardous for drivers because they can lose control of their car and, thus, hit a pedestrian. It is dangerous for pedestrians, not only because they can get hit by a car that lost control, but also because they themselves can slip and oncoming traffic might not see them.
Obstruction or debris
An obstacle course of obstructions and debris on the roadway creates dangerous driving conditions for drivers and pedestrians as it disrupts the safe and natural flow of traffic. Such disruption can force vehicles to make sudden turns and movements, and thus cause pedestrians accidents and incur serious injuries or death to pedestrians.
Trying to pass or overtake while turning
Vehicles often misjudge when turning or passing a pedestrian. Vehicles often try to beat a changing traffic light in the mist of pedestrian traffic and the inevitable pedestrian accident occurs. Or, often, vehicles fail to yield to crossing pedestrian traffic as the vehicle attempts to turn either right or left. It is a too often occurrence in the City of pedestrians being struck by vehicles which are trying to make a turn.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
Pedestrians must always take safety precautions and not rely on drivers to make “good” and safe decisions. Here is a list of pedestrian safety tips:
Pedestrians should always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk available, pedestrians should walk on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic in order to see oncoming vehicles,
Dress in brightly colored and/or reflective clothing or hold a flashlight especially during the night. This makes it easier for drivers to spot you and avoid any potential accidents,
Always cross the street at designated crosswalks; wait for the light,
Do not try to outrun cars as you cross the street – wait for them to pass you by,
Do not walk or zig-zag in between cars or in the middle of streets
Be aware and sensitive of your physical surroundings and prevailing traffic conditions; see and hear.
Pedestrian accidents by nature tend to result in grave injuries if not death. Michael Manoussos & Co PLLC takes the representation of such matters with utmost solemn regard to obtaining preserving the family legacy with the maximum financial security.