The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released a report indicating that pedestrian deaths in crashes involving motor vehicles and pedestrians rose a shocking 46% between 2009 and 2016. This is particularly surprising since the number of pedestrian deaths as a result of vehicle accidents was actually lower in 2016 than in 1975, by 20%.
Arterials and SUVs Responsible for Increased Deaths
The figures, derived from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and General Estimates System, also pinpointed where differences in pedestrian deaths above the average occurred. The biggest climb was on arterials, where 67% more pedestrians died as a result of crashes during the period. Darkness was also responsible for a large rise, 56%, and deaths in urban areas rose 54%. Pedestrian deaths at non-intersections increased 50%.
What kind of vehicle were most involved in pedestrian fatalities? The number of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) involved in pedestrian deaths was significantly higher than any other vehicle every year.
Deaths among children actually decreased during the period, but deaths rose more than 5% every year for people between the ages of 30 and 69.
The report noted that more people are walking as a mode of transportation, including work commutes. The number of Americans walking to work, for example, rose nearly 1 million in the decade between 2005 and 2015.
More Safety Measures Needed
The authors called for an increase in safety measures to combat the sharp rise in pedestrian deaths.
The fact that more fatal crashes occurred at arterials, urban areas, and nonintesections strongly indicate that safety measures should be concentrated there.
Both drivers and pedestrians should also be strongly urged to exercise safety precautions at night, including caution for drivers (vehicle headlights are a must, of course), and improved visibility for pedestrians, who should wear reflective gear and walk where there is road lighting.
Improved road lights, especially in urban arterial areas, should also be a focus of safety precautions.
Urban arterials especially could benefit from proven safety measures, including road diets (the narrowing of roads or lanes), median crossing islands, pedestrian hybrid beacons, and speed enforcement measures.
If You Need Experienced Pedestrian Accident Lawyers in New York or New Jersey
The startling rise in pedestrian accidents between 2009 and 2016 should remind us all to exercise safety precautions, as walkers and drivers, as citizens whose taxes pay for roads and as parents of pedestrians.
Sadly, even with improved safety measures, tragedies involving vehicles and pedestrians will still occur in New York and New Jersey.
If you or a loved one has been injured or even killed in a pedestrian and vehicle accident, please contact our law firm to discuss your case. KGG attorneys have decades of experience in pedestrian accidents.
Call us at (800) 711-5258 to speak with a pedestrian accident lawyer NYC trusts to take on the deep-pocketed insurance companies and fight for maximum compensation. We have offices both in Rockland County, NY or Bergen County, NJ. All initial consultations are complimentary.
- Hu, Wen and Jessica B Cicchino. “An examination of the increases in pedestrian motor vehicle crash fatalities during 2009–16.” Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. May 2018. http://www.iihs.org/frontend/iihs/documents/masterfiledocs.ashx?id=2160.
- Jaffe, Eric. “So What Exactly Is a ‘Road Diet’?” CityLab. September 12, 2014. https://www.citylab.com/design/2014/09/so-what-exactly-is-a-road-diet/379975/
Year after year, New York City remains the most walkable city in the nation, according to Walk Score. The personal and regional benefits of a pedestrian-accessible city are continually tempered, however, with a tradition of triple digit pedestrian deaths each year. One major thoroughfare has contributed significantly to the number of deaths in the past but city officials have shown that with enough effort, street improvements can save many lives.
Queens Boulevard is no longer the “Boulevard of Death”
It took years of planning and millions of dollars but Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero is finally starting to pay off. The initiative seeks to eliminate all traffic deaths across the city. In recent years, the campaign focused on the section of Queens Boulevard that had been dubbed the Boulevard of Death for its seemingly endless string of fatalities.
The infamous portion of Queens Boulevard spans 300 feet wide – ten times wider than a typical side street and more than four times as wide as Manhattan’s First Avenue. The city invested $4 million to make major changes including reducing the number of lanes from 12 to 10, including lanes for buses, parking, and side street access. The city also increased the amount of time that pedestrians have to cross the road, reduced the speed limit, added speed cameras, and installed bike lanes. Future plans include adding wide tree-lined medians down the boulevard.
NYC’s effort has paid off; the Boulevard of Death has not has a pedestrian or cyclist killed since 2014. The effort is a sign of the progress that can take place when pedestrian safety is made a priority.
NYC pedestrian deaths still a problem
While the improvement to Queens Boulevard is encouraging, there is still plenty of work to do across the rest of New York City. Despite the efforts of Vision Zero, city-wide pedestrian deaths increased from 2015 to 2016, from 139 to 148, though they hit an all-time low in 2017 with a 32% drop to 101 deaths.
Critics of the Vision Zero initiative cite the rampant problem of distracted driving and driver inattentiveness. Every month, NYPD hands out thousands of tickets to drivers for failure to yield, illegal cellphone use, and texting while driving. In some instances, courts and juries have recognized liability on the part of both the driver and the city when a pedestrian is injured.
For example, the New York State Court of Appeals has held that the the city could be found partly liable for injuries to a bike rider when the city failed to properly study the street’s traffic safety measures.
Proceeding after a NYC pedestrian accident
If you or a loved one has been injured as a pedestrian or cyclist in New York City, you may have questions about your rights. We are here to help.
Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a KGG NYC car accident lawyer. We have decades of experience helping those injured by someone else’s negligence receive full and fair compensation. Appointments are available in our Rockland County, New York, or Bergen County, New Jersey offices.
Additional “NYC Pedestrian Deaths” Resources:
- Redfin, These Are the 10 Most Walkable Cities of 2017, https://www.redfin.com/blog/2017/05/these-are-the-10-most-walkable-cities-of-2017.html
- NYC, Vision Zero, http://www1.nyc.gov/site/visionzero/index.page
- The New York Times, No Longer New York City’s ‘Boulevard of Death’, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/03/nyregion/queens-boulevard-of-death.html?_r=0
Have you ever come close to hitting someone crossing an intersection? Are you a walker who has almost been struck by a vehicle? Do these scenarios haunt you?
Remember, because a vehicle weighs significantly more and moves at a faster speed, pedestrian accidents can have devastating consequences leading to death and catastrophic injuries.
Each year, thousands of Americans suffer injuries and are killed in pedestrian accidents. In fact, there were more than 47,000 pedestrian accident fatalities in the U.S. from 2003 to 2012, while nearly 700,000 victims suffered injuries.
How Can I Avoid a Pedestrian Accident?
While you may not always be able to prevent a pedestrian accident from occurring, there are some steps you can take to make sure you are safer. These include:
- Avoiding distracted driving and paying attention to your surroundings
- Always using a crosswalk when one is available
- Paying attention to traffic signals, when you are both driving and walking
- Monitoring an area before moving
- Wearing reflective clothing when walking at night
Additionally, if you do happen to hit a pedestrian while driving, you should always stay at the scene of an accident. Remember, the failure to provide aide or react responsibly could end up costing a person his or her life, or result in further injuries. It could also result in criminal charges.
Speaking to a Personal Injury Attorney About a Bergen County Pedestrian Accident
Reckless drivers who cause pedestrian accidents can be held liable. Victims are often entitled to damages that can help them pay for medical care, and payments for their pain and suffering.
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. – Injury Lawyers
KGG’s Corner: An estimated 90 percent of traffic accidents occur in normal weather conditions (no rain or snow), according to NHTSA.
As you celebrate Halloween this Friday, try to stay safe by avoiding drinking and driving and keeping an eye on your children.
Remember, children are more prone to pedestrian accidents, especially around the holidays. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children are four times more likely to be involved in pedestrian accidents on Halloween than any other night of the year.
If you are monitoring children who are trick-or-treating in your neighborhood, make sure that you plan to take safe routes. Additionally, make sure that when you cross the street, you use all crosswalks, and if you are driving, make sure you operate your vehicle at a safe speed.
Additionally, the CDC says that you should:
- Purchase or make Halloween costumes from flame-resistant materials.
- Pick brightly colored costumes or add your own reflective tape so motorists can see your child.
- Attach your child’s name, address and phone number somewhere inside his or her costume.
- Teach your children to stay on the sidewalks and cross only at corners.
- Teach your children to look, listen and be aware of cars not stopping at corners.
Should I Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney If a Driver Hits Me?
Remember, pedestrian accidents can result in devastating injuries, like head wounds, spinal cord injuries or compound fractures, which often require expensive physical therapy and rehab.
Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. – Injury Lawyers
KGG’s Corner: From 2003-12, 676,000 people suffered personal injuries in pedestrian accidents.