When discussions about pedestrian accidents in New York City are brought up, some may assume the topic is traffic safety. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, construction accidents are a significant source of injuries and fatalities to those on the city’s sidewalks. Tools, building materials and debris have fallen on unsuspecting bystanders and passersby 96 times over a six-year period. There were 22 bystander injuries caused by construction accidents in 2014 alone. This does not reflect the number of incidents that are not recorded because no injuries occurred.
Walking is an important form of transportation in New York City, but those on the city’s sidewalks are not necessarily headed to work or school. Older residents also take advantage of the walkability of their neighborhoods. Unfortunately, according to the New York City Department for the Aging, although seniors make up just 12 percent of the city’s population, they account for 36 percent of the pedestrian fatalities.
Even though they have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers, cyclists are particularly vulnerable on the streets of New York. The New York City Department of Transportation is proactive in working toward bicycle accident prevention, promoting awareness and offering free safety helmets and fittings. However, there are many ways that a rider can reduce the risks of a collision.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio implemented Vision Zero in an effort to reduce the number of traffic fatalities and injuries. In a related move, the city council has a bill pending now that could remove at least 200 parking spaces close to crosswalks throughout the city.
The Manhattan Community Board 12 transportation committee was recently asked to vote on the creation of new bike lanes that will run down St. Nicholas Avenue, and they gave the proposal a vote of support. The Washington Heights area has already seen the creation of new bikes lanes out by the High Bridge, and the lanes in the proposal would link the two areas together.
It's been a year now since the "Right of Way Law" in New York City went into effect. A cornerstone of the Vision Zero initiative of the city's mayor, Bill De Blasio, the legislation made harming bicyclists and pedestrians who have the right of way a misdemeanor for motor vehicle operators.
While accidents in New York often seem random and chaotic, it's usually pretty easy to find the causes for those accidents after the dust settles. Below are eight of the most common reasons that people are struck by cars in the state.
It's often said that the driver is always at fault, or that the pedestrian always has the right of way. Now, while drivers should certainly make an effort to avoid hitting pedestrians, is it true that the pedestrian can never be at fault?
Did you know that it is a misdemeanor crime in New York City to endanger pedestrians by failing to yield? This charge is most often brought against those who cause NYC pedestrian accidents that result in injury or death. However, failure to yield is an ongoing problem in the metro area. Privately operated vehicles pose a significant threat, but bus drivers are also a danger. Public transit operators are responsible for a fair percentage of pedestrian accidents in the city. All drivers should be held to the same standard when it comes to failure to yield enforcement.
If the average citizen in New York runs into a cyclist who has the right of way or a pedestrian, that citizen can be arrested by the officers who respond to the scene. This is based on the Right of Way Law, which says that people can be charged with misdemeanors if they hurt or kill bikers and pedestrians.