If you have ever been to New York City, you know that the city is extremely walker friendly; you do not need a vehicle to get from borough to borough. In fact, many believe that biking and walking help make the city a healthier and safer place. However, new data suggests that the increase in walkers and bikers is actually leading to more fatalities on the New York City roads.
Specifically, the Mayor’s Management Report indicates that traffic fatalities were up by 23 percent from last year. Yet, the total number of car-to-car accidents in New York City has fallen for the second straight year. If this is the case, why have the fatalities risen? Data suggests that these fatalities stem from pedestrian or cyclist accidents that involve vehicles.
The New York Times reports that 176 pedestrians and bikers were killed in car accidents this year. This number is up from last year’s total – 158 fatalities.
Most of these accidents have been attributed to motorists’ negligence. Examples of negligent driving include distracted driving, drunk driving or the failure to observe local traffic laws.
According to local news sources, safety agencies are also concerned with the issue distracted walking. Experts say that pedestrians are spending too much time on their smartphones as they roam the city streets. This lack of attention leads to bad habits, including walking into oncoming traffic. In fact, the problem is so serious that the city has initiated a campaign against distracted walking and plans to stencil the word "LOOK!" along curbsides at more than 100 of the most dangerous intersections in New York City.
Negligent Motorists: A Major Cause of Pedestrian and Cycling Fatalities
While distracted walking may be one issue, most accidents are still linked to reckless motorists. The executive director of cycling and pedestrian advocacy group Transportation Alternatives believes that drivers are the ones at fault for these tragedies. He notes, "Anyone who walks or bikes across a New York City street knows that motorists are getting away with reckless driving, day in, day out."
Though fault can be attributed to many different people, there is no doubt that there are careless motorists on New York City streets. Even if you contribute to causing an accident, you may be able to sue for compensation based on New York’s comparative negligence law.
Under comparative negligence, financial recovery is reduced by the percentage of negligence that is assigned to you. This means that you can still recover for the percentage of negligence that is attributed to the other party.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a pedestrian or bicycle accident, you may want to contact a personal injury attorney about your viable options of recovery. As you obtain suitable medical care from any accident-induced injuries, you deserve to be financially compensated for the harm that you experienced.