Pedestrians are more terrified than ever to walk on New York City streets. Last Saturday while walking home from a late-night shift, a hardworking and beloved chef named Marco Carrizo from the Bronx was struck and killed in a hit-and-run accident. On the same day, two other pedestrians were killed in separate hit-and-run accidents: one on the Bruckner Expressway, another crossing Atlantic Avenue. Sadly, these reckless incidents are far from the only pedestrian tragedies the city has experienced this year.
According to the NYPD, Carrizo’s fatal accident marked the 99th pedestrian traffic death in NYC since the beginning of 2021. Reckless driving and speeding have been frequently cited as leading factors in these accidents. Local drivers, who became accustomed to empty roads for months, are now battling for space among the return of NYC rush hour. Additionally, thousands of New Yorkers leaped to purchase personal vehicles to avoid public transportation during the pandemic. In August 2020, the Department of Motor Vehicles reported that nearly 40,000 vehicles were registered in July 2020 up 9,000 vehicles from 2019. The more cars that frequent NYC roads, the more chances there are for fatal accidents to occur.
When the city shut down in 2020, the dynamic of life in NYC experienced a great shift. Pedestrians fell in love with traveling around their neighborhoods by foot, sparking an old-school ideal of community that many residents have been missing. As life began to return to normal, reckless and aggressive drivers returned in full force. Pedestrians have been the ones to bear the burden of post-pandemic roads ever since, risking their lives on every commute.
At the law firm of Siler & Ingber, we believe all pedestrians have a right to walk safely in NYC. While the city is equally responsible for doing its part to ensure safer walking conditions in all five boroughs, drivers must be held accountable when their negligent acts lead to preventable tragedies. Pedestrian safety is becoming a public safety concern across the country, and we can all do our part to protect their rights to safer roads.
Pedestrian Fatalities Climb Nationwide in Recent Years
In 2020, the Governors Highway Safety Administration (G.H.S.A.) released a report on the Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State, illustrating the uptick in pedestrian accidents since 2019. Despite the lockdowns experienced nationwide, pedestrian fatalities in 2020 increased an unprecedented 21 percent from the year prior. At least 6,721 pedestrians lost their lives in traffic accidents, most of which could have been prevented. Seven states were responsible for most pedestrian fatalities experienced in the first half of 2020: New York, California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina.
Unfortunately, a rise in fatal pedestrian accidents is not a new trend. Between 2010 to 2019, the G.H.S.A reported a 46 percent increase in fatal pedestrian accidents. All other traffic deaths only increased by 5 percent in the same nine-year span.
Factors leading to a rise in pedestrian accidents across America included several of the top five causes of car accidents, such as reckless and drunk driving practices. Lack of visibility was another leading indicator of fatal accidents, with three out of every four pedestrian fatalities occurring after dark. Other leading factors included outdated crossing signals, confusing crosswalks and roadways, and a sudden uptick in drivers purchasing sports utility vehicles (SUV).
How To Keep Pedestrians Safe
In October 2021, the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A) and Federal Highway Administration, and the G.H.S.A announced the first National Pedestrian Safety Month. According to Silive.com, the inspiration to create yet another safety month in October was an emergency attempt to reduce fatal pedestrian accidents across the country.
Aside from spreading awareness, some of the suggestions for decreasing pedestrian fatalities in communities, as highlighted by the G.H.S.A, include:
- Safety campaigns and initiatives directed towards reducing acts of reckless driving;
- Reduce speeding zones at intersections prone to deadly accidents;
- Creating more visible crosswalks attracting the attention of both pedestrians and drivers;
- Increasing visibility in intersections with more effective lighting;
- Updating street designs that curve pedestrian traffic away from vehicle lanes; and
- Increasing law enforcement and stricter policies for drivers who are caught putting pedestrian lives at risk.
In addition to infrastructure updates, drivers can significantly decrease their chances of causing a fatal pedestrian accident by following basic traffic safety guidelines and local laws to keep others safe. These steps include:
- Following all speed limits and reducing your speed while approaching school zones, crosswalks, and intersections;
- Reducing distractions inside of your vehicles, such as loud music, conversations with passengers, personal hygiene practices, and cellphone use;
- Stopping at all stop signs and traffic lights;
- Using your turn signals with enough time for pedestrians to predict your direction;
- Driving sober and uninfluenced by substances; and
- Always giving pedestrians the right of way.
Even cars traveling at a moderate speed can cause fatal injuries when colliding with a pedestrian. Don’t take the chance. Stay alert and drive smart to help protect your community.
New York City Vehicle Accident Lawyers
Our personal injury attorneys at the law firm of Siler & Ingber have over 20 years of experience representing accident victims in New York City. We protect your rights by maximizing recovery and securing the financial support that our clients need to succeed on their road to recovery. Our winning attorneys know how to navigate through the claim process, using our experience as insurance defense attorneys. We are not afraid to fight and are fully prepared to take your case to trial to get a justified verdict over settling for less.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle accident, our team at Siler & Ingber is here to help. With a 98% success rate, we have the experience and the know-how to help our clients achieve a favorable outcome. Contact us today at 1-877-529-4343, or schedule an appointment online anytime. We never charge a fee unless we recover money for you.