In New York State, like anywhere else, pedestrian accidents often result in serious injuries or deaths. The Department of Health reports that over 300 pedestrians die and 15,000 are injured by motor vehicles every year. An estimated 3,000 pedestrians are hospitalized annually in the state.
Understanding the most common causes of pedestrian accidents can help you file your claim for compensation if you suffer injuries in a pedestrian accident. Your car accident lawyer can help build your case and hold the driver liable for your damages.
Pedestrians are regularly put at risk by drivers’ negligent actions. However, pedestrians not paying attention to their surroundings can also pose a threat to their safety.
An accident involving a pedestrian can occur for a variety of reasons, including:
- Distracted Driving
Driving distracted may occur when a driver takes their eyes, hands, or mind off from focusing on the road. For example, a driver may text on their cell phone, chat with other passengers, or eat a snack, endangering other pedestrians.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics showed that 587 non-occupants, including pedestrians, were killed in distracted driving collisions in 2020.
- Failure to Follow Traffic Signs and Signals
New York State law requires drivers to yield to pedestrians on crosswalks even when no traffic signals are available. Drivers must also not overtake vehicles at crosswalks that stop for crossing pedestrians.
Impatient drivers disregard traffic signals and neglect to watch out for pedestrians. The NHTSA noted that drivers who failed to follow traffic signals and signs caused 4.2% of all fatal motor vehicle accidents in the United States in 2020.
- Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Drugs
Drunk drivers on the road pose a danger to pedestrians, resulting in pedestrian accidents across the country and New York State. Using more than one drug, such as marijuana along with prescription drugs, or combining drugs and alcohol, can make drivers dangerous.
Approximately 16% of fatal pedestrian crashes involved drivers with blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) over the legal limit of 0.08 g/dL. The New York State Police report that over 30% of all motor vehicle crashes in the state involve alcohol.
- Left-Hand Turns
Cars turning left can endanger pedestrians because drivers tend to look right instead of left when negotiating busy intersections. As a result, they may not notice anything on their left side as they make their left turn.
The number of vehicles making a left turn influences the pedestrian accident risk. Drivers can become more aggressive if many cars simultaneously make a left turn. The impatience of the drivers may cause their failure to yield to pedestrians. According to the NHTSA, 15% of pedestrian deaths happened at intersections in 2020.
- Not Watching Out for Children
The small size of young children makes them easy to miss while on a crosswalk or crossing the street. Drivers who don’t stop for school buses picking up or dropping off children can increase the risk of a pedestrian accident.
- Pedestrian Negligence
The risk of pedestrian accidents is not only influenced by driver errors but also by pedestrian mistakes. The state of New York requires pedestrians to follow traffic signals. It is unlawful for pedestrians to step off the curb or run into an oncoming vehicle’s path so close as to make it impossible for the driver to stop, resulting in severe injuries.
Pedestrians must also yield to vehicles if they walk on roadways other than crosswalks. The risk of a pedestrian can occur when pedestrians are wearing dark-colored clothes and walking at night. 77% of pedestrian deaths occurred in the dark compared to the morning, midday, and twilight.
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident in New York State, contact the Syracuse car accident lawyers at Catalano Law to represent you. We can help you recover compensation if a negligent driver struck you while walking.
If your actions played a part in the accident, we can review your options for obtaining restitution, including filing a claim with your auto insurance policy.
Our team is ready to help you with your case. Call us today for a free consultation.