New York seems perfectly conditioned for causing pedestrian accidents. Place thousands of motor vehicles and millions of pedestrians within roughly 31 square miles? Some accidents are inevitable.
Still, every individual pedestrian accident is caused by something specific. Learning the causes of pedestrian accidents can help you avoid them and maybe prevent a tragedy. At the very least, you can minimize your liability in a pedestrian accident lawsuit.
Reckless and Aggressive New York Drivers Can Make Things Worse
A renowned cliche of New York, aggressive driving is a problem that presents dangers for everyone involved. In fact, road rage and erratic turns are a primary cause of busy city pedestrian accidents.
Aggressive driving may lead to pedestrian injuries directly or indirectly. Say an aggressive driver makes a decision without seeing a pedestrian and hits them. Or they force someone else to make an evasive maneuver and hit someone.
Reckless driving is even worse. A driver disregarding traffic laws, running traffic lights, or speeding in urban areas can be fatal for someone in a crosswalk.
Driving While Impaired in New York City Doesn’t Help
When you think about driving while impaired, your first assumption is likely about driving drunk. Drunk driving is dangerous and rightly illegal, but it’s not the only kind of impairment. Illegal drugs do present their own dangers, causing erratic responses in drivers, as well.
But there’s an even more common problem these days: driving while drowsy.
Driving While Drowsy
Tired driving is a problem most people aren’t even aware of. Sleep deprivation has been proven to result in just as much danger as texting and results in slower reaction times than even intoxication.
It’s also incredibly common. An estimated 4% of drivers fall asleep at the wheel at least once over the course of a month. Shift workers and truck drivers are most likely to drive drowsy, because of the demands of their jobs.
Adding Distracted Driving to This NYC Equation
Distracted driving is a huge cause of traffic accidents today anywhere in the US. In places full of pedestrians, that can be an even more deadly combination. Essentially, in NYC, taking your mind off of driving is just as dangerous as taking your hands off the wheel.
When deciding liability for an accident, one major consideration is negligence, or the failure to take proper precautions. As studies continue to prove, statistics on distracted driving are actually scarier than driving drunk.
Reaction times while texting and driving are also worse than when driving under the influence. Therefore, driving while distracted is considered extremely negligent, when it can be proven.
Even New York Pedestrians Can Be At Fault
While many are, not all pedestrian accidents are the fault of a reckless or impaired driver. An overlooked cause of pedestrian accidents is the pedestrian’s behavior.
Any of the above problems can result in a pedestrian walking in front of a vehicle. A pedestrian can ignore crosswalk signals, jaywalk, or wander out into the road while distracted.
In pedestrian accidents, proving that the pedestrian was in fact the negligent party can relieve the driver of responsibility.
People are responsible for taking reasonable care of their own safety. Actively disregarding their safety by ignoring traffic signals can result in a pedestrian having contributory negligence assessed against them.
Regardless of your position in the equation, if you’ve been injured in a New York pedestrian accident, understanding these causes can help you make a case for negligence.
Whether you were driving or walking, injuries from a pedestrian accident might be grounds for compensation. Reach out to an experienced New York personal injury attorney for help.