The roadways are not safe for everyone. While traffic fatalities appear to be declining overall, pedestrian accidents are still rising.
In 2017, close to 6,000 pedestrians were killed on roadways across the United States. That is the highest number in the past 25 years. Between 2007 and 2016, pedestrian fatalities rose by 27 percent. During that same time, deaths caused by other traffic accidents dropped 14 percent.
Not all states saw increases in pedestrian deaths. Washington, D.C. and 23 states saw increases, while 20 other states actually saw a decrease. The other states remained the same.
More than 40 percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred in just five states: New York, California, Florida, Texas, and Arizona. Eight of the 10 most dangerous areas for pedestrians are in Florida.
Causes of Pedestrian Fatalities
Pedestrian deaths have risen dramatically over the past several years, but why? According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, those involved in pedestrian accidents tend to be elderly or those who are poor and without health insurance. These factors make a person more likely to be killed in a car accident.
Also, low gas prices and a stronger economy means that more people are driving. With more cars on the roadways, accidents are more likely to occur.
Distractions also play a role in pedestrian accidents. When people are walking, they tend to be distracted by their cell phones. They may be checking email, sending texts, talking on the phone or surfing the internet. These actions all distract the person while walking. They are then less cautious and more likely to walk out into a street and into the path of a vehicle.
Distracted driving is not limited to pedestrians, however. Motorists are increasingly using their phones while driving, causing them to take their eyes off the road. This causes them to lose focus and run into pedestrians crossing the road.
Alcohol use is also common—and not just by drivers. In one-third of pedestrian fatalities, the pedestrian is the one who has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or above. While walking while intoxicated is not necessarily illegal, it is dangerous, as these statistics show. Alcohol use by motorists can cause drivers to lack judgment or fail to slow down in time and hit pedestrians.
Another thing to consider is that most pedestrian crashes—75 percent—happen at night, suggesting that visibility can be a factor. In addition, 72 percent of crashes occur outside of intersections, indicating jaywalking. Marijuana use may also play a role, with studies showing that more pedestrian fatalities occurred after states legalized marijuana.
Manhattan’s Most Dangerous Intersections for Pedestrians
According to a 2017 article in Curbed, the most dangerous intersections in Manhattan for pedestrians are:
- Mott Street and Canal Street in Chinatown
- Third Avenue and East 96th Street
- Lafayette Street and Canal Street in Lower Manhattan near all of the court buildings
- Third Avenue and East 30th Street
- First Avenue and East 62nd Street
Contact a New York Car Accident Attorney Today
Pedestrian crashes are on the rise. If you’re a motorist, it’s important to be alert now more than ever. If you hit a pedestrian, you could be held liable. If you have been involved in a car-pedestrian accident, seek legal help. New York car accident attorney Michael J. Redenburg, Esq. P.C. can advise you of your legal rights. Get started today. Go online or call directly to schedule a consultation.