Blogger Richard Read of The Car Connection recently asked why New York drivers are not jailed when they hit pedestrians. As The New York Times previously pointed out, cyclist and pedestrian fatalities rose from 158 in 2011 to 178 last year in New York City.
In the past, the NYPD has not focused on investigating vehicle crashes, though Read believes that things are improving. New York’s Accident Investigation Squad has been renamed the Collision Investigation Squad, thus removing the word “accident” from the equation. Collisions, Read says, are often criminal offenses and should not be referred to as accidents.
As cities become more crowded, pedestrian safety is an increasing challenge.
Between 2001 and 2010, more than 47,000 pedestrians died in collisions in the U.S., with about three-fourths of these occurring in cities. To prevent pedestrian fatalities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that cities install speed bumps on certain roads, enforce speeding and distracted driving laws and create “pedestrian safety zones and streets designated for walking.”
Elderly Pedestrians Face Particular Risks
US News & World Report’s Health Day recently focused on risks faced by elderly pedestrians. Between 2001 and 2010, traffic-related deaths for people 75 years and older were more than double those of people aged 34 and younger. Fatal collisions involving pedestrians account for about 4,000 of the nearly 34,000 traffic-related deaths each year in the U.S.
Although older individuals take fewer walks than younger people, they are usually frailer and therefore more likely to die from pedestrian accidents.
Pedestrians who survive collisions may face severe injuries, including broken bones, head injuries and internal bleeding. Often, these injuries can endure for months or even years. In the case of paralysis, the injury lasts a lifetime.
If you were been struck and injured by a motor vehicle while you were walking, contact the New York City car accident law firm of David Resnick & Associates, P.C. We can offer valuable legal advice about your right to recover.