A teen driver struck a 17-year-old pedestrian around 7 p.m. February 12 at the intersection of Kings Highway and Avenue K in Brooklyn. The victim suffered severe body trauma and was taken to Kings County Hospital where he later died. During the ongoing investigation, the NYPD declined to provide information based on any specific factors that could have impacted the driver’s ability to recognize pedestrian traffic.
Countless factors can lead to a fatal pedestrian collision, including:
- Distracted driving: Safety experts consider any activity that pulls a driver’s focus from the road a distraction. Even something as simple as taking a sip from a coffee mug takes a hand off the wheel and the eyes off the road.
- Impaired driving: While the public historically linked impaired driving to drugs or alcohol, many drivers face impairment from strong prescription or over-the-counter medications. These meds can cause blurred perceptions and diminished reaction times.
- Drowsy driving: Depending on numerous factors, drivers often get behind the wheel while tired. Whether early in the morning, late at night or after a stressful day drowsy drivers can make deadly mistakes on the road.
What can engineers do to protect pedestrians?
While not every solution works for every intersection, city officials have numerous tools at their disposal that can increase visibility and reduce pedestrian collisions, including:
- Protected pedestrian medians
- Illuminated in-lane traffic warning signs
- Roundabout intersections
- Reduced speeds
- Neon reflective thermoplastic paint
No matter the circumstances, pedestrians will likely suffer the more dramatic consequences in a collision with a motor vehicle. From the initial impact and striking a stationary object to falling to the ground and being run over by the still-moving vehicle, pedestrians often suffer catastrophic injuries. In severe instances, the vehicle-pedestrian collision can result in fatality.