Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in NY

For many people, walking is an essential form of transportation and exercise, but there’s a pedestrian safety crisis because of drivers who are distracted, speeding, impaired, or engaging in risky driving behaviors. Based on current data from the Transportation Alternatives (TRANSALT) and Families for Safe Streets:

  • Traffic deaths in Queens have increased up to 125% compared to the first quarter of 2021, and pedestrian deaths make up 60% of these deaths. Manhattan has likewise seen a 120% increase compared to the same time in 2021.
  • Of the 59 traffic deaths in the first quarter of 2022, 29 were pedestrians.
  • The deadliest month for pedestrians in NYC was February. Jack Mikulincer, a 99-year-old Holocaust survivor, was killed by a BMW SUV driver as he was crossing a notoriously dangerous road in his electric wheelchair.

Why Are So Many Pedestrians Dying and Getting Injured on New York Streets?

Data from the Pedestrian Safety Study and Action Plan by the New York Department of Transportation found that the following are the top causes of pedestrian crashes in the state:

  • Driver Inattention – This is a factor in about 36% of pedestrian accidents. These crashes were also more than two times deadlier than others. Although driver inattention has been one of the top causes of pedestrian accidents, it’s become more pressing due to the rise of cellphone and electronic device use when driving.
  • Failure to Yield – This happens when a driver fails to yield to a pedestrian that’s crossing a legal crosswalk, a street with a traffic light, an uncontrolled crosswalk, or a marked crosswalk with a stop sign. 27% of pedestrian accidents involved a pedestrian crossing and the driver failing to yield.
  • Left Turns – When making a left turn, a driver’s visibility will be partially blocked, which makes it more difficult to see a pedestrian in a left crosswalk. Additionally, making left turns require more mental concentration than right turns, increasing the risk of driver error.
  • Speeding – Pedestrian accidents involving unsafe or excessive speeds are two times more deadly than other crashes. 21% of pedestrian accidents involved speeding, driving too fast for the road or weather conditions, and limited sight distance due to speed.
  • Drunk Driving – Alcohol plays a crucial role in the severity of pedestrian accidents. In NYC, pedestrian accidents involving drivers who were drunk were twice as likely to result in deaths.
  • Lane Changing – Sudden and aggressive lane changes can be very dangerous for pedestrians. These aggressive driving practices put the lives of pedestrians at unnecessary risk.

Talk to an Experienced New York Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Today

All drivers have a legal responsibility to drive safely and ensure the safety of the people they share the road with. If you’ve been hurt in a pedestrian crash due to someone else’s negligence, contact Lipsig, Shapey, Manus &Moverman to learn how we can secure fair compensation for your damages. To set up a free case assessment with our experienced New York pedestrian accident lawyer, you can send us an online message or call our NYC office at 212-285-3300.


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