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How common are pedestrian accidents?

When drunk, distracted or negligent drivers choose to get behind the wheel, that decision puts everyone on the road at risk. This is especially true of pedestrians, who do not have the same protection as drivers or pedestrians in a collision. How common are pedestrian accidents in New York City?

Pedestrian injuries are more common than many may believe.

While most pedestrians rely on drivers to protect their safety as they navigate the city, many motorists do not take those necessary steps. Crashes involving pedestrians are among the top ten causes of injury-related admissions to New York hospitals, and thousands of pedestrian injuries require care in an emergency room or hospitalization each year.

2021 saw the most pedestrian fatalities in recent years.

According to the nonprofit Transportation Alternatives, 2018 was the safest year in recent history for New York City pedestrians. By contrast, 2021 was the deadliest, with a 33 percent increase in fatalities compared to 2018.

In addition, the growing number of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and other large vehicles on the road led to increased risk for pedestrians. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, crashes involving large vehicles like SUVs, trucks and vans are between two and three times as likely to lead to a fatality. In 2021, the rising number of SUVs on New York City streets resulted in a 42 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities in accidents involving SUVs.

Unfortunately, many drivers also chose to flee the scene rather than provide potentially life-saving assistance to injured pedestrians. Transportation Alternatives reported that hit-and-run incidents occurred at double the rate in 2021 compared to 2018.

While pedestrian accidents are unfortunately common in New York, injured people and their families can take steps to hold negligent drivers accountable for the serious injuries they cause.


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