As the number of pedestrian accidents with injuries and fatalities has risen, the dangers pedestrians face in New York City have been a prominent concern. Law enforcement and legislators are seeking methods to make the roads safer for pedestrians. Statistically, vehicles that pose the biggest risk for pedestrians are SUVs and trucks. With that, law enforcement is stepping up its efforts to cite these vehicles for illegal behaviors that put pedestrians in jeopardy.
Within two days, there were six fatal pedestrian accidents in New York. Four of the people who died were hit by a truck. After that, law enforcement began ticketing truckers. The latest numbers show that 46 percent of fatal accidents involved SUVs and trucks. This is an increase from 2013 to 2017 when it was 40 percent. Larger vehicles are known to have a higher chance of fatal pedestrian accidents than smaller vehicles. When gas prices are reduced and the economy is in good shape, more of these vehicles are on the road raising the chance of these crashes occurring.
The Department of Transportation has also encouraged manufacturers of these vehicles to consider visibility issues when designing them. The most common reason for citations to be given to drivers has been failure to yield. This rose by 89 percent. The combination of failing to yield with daylight savings time is considered a catalyst for pedestrian crashes. Other citations were given for moving violations in bicycle lanes and speeding.
Vision Zero is a program that has been touted as an effective strategy to lower the number of pedestrian accidents. Statistically, that is accurate as 2019 was the second safest year since the program went into effect. Still, there was an increase of 17 traffic fatalities from 2018 to 2019. In 2019, there was an increase in pedestrian deaths from 2018. Bicyclists had three times the number of deaths.
It is positive that law enforcement is taking pedestrian accidents seriously and cracking down on driver behaviors that put pedestrians at risk. That, however, does not eliminate the possibility of being hit by a car, SUV or truck. When there is a pedestrian accident, there will inevitably be medical expenses, lost wages and other challenges. These concerns are exacerbated with fatal pedestrian accidents. Those who were injured or lost a loved one in an auto-pedestrian accident should be aware of their rights by contacting a personal injury law firm.