Illegal driving is cited in about three out of every five fatal accidents that involve a bicyclist or a pedestrian. According to Transportation Alternatives, a transit advocacy group, about 60 percent of accidents that kill a pedestrian or a bicyclist are the result of habits like texting at the wheel, drunk driving or speeding.
The group looked at accident data from 1995 through 2009 provided by the New York State Department of Transportation. From 2001 to 2010, there were nearly 2,000 pedestrians killed on the streets of New York City.
The New York Police Department’s (NYPD) Accident Investigation Squad has nearly 20 trained investigators who handle deadly traffic accidents and collect crash scene evidence when someone involved is dead or likely to die. Only fatal accidents that are investigated. Serious accidents with injuries such as amputated or broken limbs and even unexpected deaths, aren’t investigated.
Our New York City personal injury lawyers understand that bicyclists and pedestrians face the highest rates of death when involved in an accident. These vulnerable travelers need to be extra careful when walking near vehicular traffic. According to the spokesman for Transportation Alternatives, Michael Murphy, the NYPD needs to get out there and enforce the state’s driving rules more stringently.
“The solutions are on the table,” said Murphy. “It’s just a matter of making them happen.”
According to Transportation Alternatives, accidents that are reported that don’t involve a death only get a one-page report. To officials, they’re minor and insignificant. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Every pedestrian and bicycling accident is serious. In these cases, where the result is injury and not a fatality, evidence of possible criminal conduct other than drunk driving is not collected by officers at the scene. Yet these are the cases where medical bills, cost of rehabilitation, and lost wages can have a crippling impact on a family’s finances.
Typically, about a third of these accident victims live in Brooklyn. Another 30 percent live in Manhattan.
Pedestrians need to be careful when walking in the city. Make sure that you always cross the road at a crosswalk or at an intersection. You want to stay away from distractions, too. Distracted walking is just as serious as distracted driving and can have some of the same fatal results.
Be aware of your surroundings and make your moves predictable to help motorists to avoid you. If you have to walk during the evening hours, make sure that you wear bright-colored clothing to help motorists see you more readily. You need to stay one step ahead of the traffic around you, because we all know that drivers and other travelers aren’t paying attention to us.
The lack of an investigation into an accident can be a serious problem when it comes to pursuing a personal injury or wrongful death claim for damages. Consulting an experienced law firm in the immediate aftermath of an accident can more readily permit independent investigation, which can include interviewing witnesses, taking photographs of the scene, inspecting damaged vehicles and viewing an available surveillance footage.
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations to accident victims. Call 1-877-313-7673 to speak with someone about your case and to discuss your rights today!
Illegal driving cited in majority of fatal crashes, by Amanda Barker, Club Metro
More Blog Entries:
Local Teens Fight Risks of Pedestrian Accidents in the Bronx — And Win!, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, July 15, 2012
More than 97 Percent of Accidents in New York and Elsewhere NOT Blamed on Headphone-Wearing Walkers, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, February 16, 2012