Considering how aggressive New York drivers are believed to be, walking to where you want to go might seems safer than driving or getting in a taxi. It can be cost-effective to walk instead of needing to maintain a vehicle and pay for parking. Additionally, walking for your commute can help you get your steps in to keep you fit.
The sad truth is that you can’t avoid the risks of the road just by staying out of a vehicle. In fact, being in a vehicle might keep you safer if something bad does happen. The structure and safety devices of a vehicle give you some protection from the worst injuries possible if you cross paths with someone drunk or texting at the wheel. Pedestrians can suffer catastrophic injuries when distracted or drunk, or if negligent drivers hit them.
Given that so many people walk places in New York, pedestrian safety awareness is higher than in other places. Does that mean that pedestrians are safe in New York?
A significant number of New York pedestrians get hurt or die each year
As with those who drive, most pedestrians get where they’re going without any problems. However, pedestrians who do get into crashes are at much higher risk of suffering serious physical injuries.
According to statistics provided by the state, New York has an average of 312 pedestrian deaths each year, which means about 1.6 out of every 100,000 New Yorkers will die in such crashes. Another 3,027 people will require hospitalization after a crash with serious injuries, while about 12,506 people will seek emergency care right after a pedestrian accident with a vehicle.
When you consider that the total number of motor vehicle deaths in an average year is around 1,098 based on the same information, pedestrians represent a large portion of the total traffic deaths in the state.
Injured pedestrians and their families have legal rights
Those pedestrians that get hurt may be able to file an insurance claim against the driver that struck them. If they don’t have insurance or don’t carry enough coverage, a personal injury lawsuit may also be necessary. For the hundreds of families left grief-stricken after a pedestrian crash, a wrongful death claim against the driver may be an option.
Taking action protects victims from losses and creates consequences for those whose actions impact the lives of others.