New York pedestrians are known for crossing against lights, skirting through traffic, and so on, but the New York Times analyzed fatal pedestrian accidents to determine their true cause. The Times analysis was important because 2019 saw an increase in these accidents, despite the fact that New York City has been working for ten years on a major initiative to prevent pedestrian injuries and fatalities.
The Times concluded that pedestrians were only responsible for 5% of the fatal accidents in 2010-2019.
Most of the time, the driver was to blame for these tragedies. Five percent of these accidents were related to the driver's alcohol use, but the real cause was drivers' malfeasance. Drivers weren't paying attention. They refused to yield to a pedestrian. They ignored traffic signals or were speeding.
In 2010, the city was aware that pedestrian accidents were the 2nd leading cause of death in the city for children 5 to 14 years old and adults over 45 years old. And while the real cost of pedestrian injuries and deaths for the families was incalculable, the city could determine the economic impact of pedestrian crashes: $1.38 billion each year.
In its 2010 analysis, the city's Department of Transportation (DOT) also identified the most dangerous areas where pedestrians were most likely to be severely injured or killed: There were more pedestrian accidents in Manhattan than the other boroughs. The DOT also identified that the major two-way streets—e.g., Canal, 14th, 125th, Park, and Adam Clayton Powell—comprise only 12% of Manhattan's street network. Still, these streets accounted for 47% of pedestrian fatalities and 34% of severe pedestrian injuries.
DOT also realized that New York pedestrian accidents are somewhat different than those that occur elsewhere in the country. Nationally, more pedestrian accidents late at night, but in Manhattan, they occur from 3-9 pm. Also, more New York pedestrian accidents happen during the November and December holidays. It seems to be the busy nature of the season that's to blame, not the icy roads or short days because pedestrian accidents are least likely to occur in January and February.
As New York continues its work to make streets safer for pedestrians, the danger is still out there. And no matter when or where an accident occurs, the injuries are likely severe and potentially life-changing.
Practicing in all five boroughs and upstate New York, with matters ranging from car accidents to medical malpractice, Ed Lemmo, Esq. is one of New York's top personal injury trial attorneys. Lemmo has a very high rating from AVVO, the prestigious attorney rating service, and he is a member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, who serves as trial counsel for many of New York's finest law firms. With trial verdicts regularly published in New York Jury Verdict and New York Jury Verdict Reporter, Lemmo's clients had a 100% success rate from 2014-2020.
If you have been injured in an accident, call LemmoLaw today for a free consultation.