The traffic here in New York City may have been light in recent months, but that doesn’t mean that cyclists and pedestrians are not at risk for injury as they travel through the city on bicycles and their feet. Far too often, these vulnerable individuals become the victims of crashes involving motor vehicles.
While some victims survive these encounters, others do not. In 2019, the number of people who lost their lives in accidents with motor vehicles rose sharply and suddenly. Now, researchers are saying that those driving vehicles are to blame in the majority of these accidents, but few actually face criminal charges as a result. This means surviving victims and the families of those who died will need to turn to the civil courts for justice and other relief.
What are drivers doing wrong?
The primary reasons for these serious and deadly crashes may not come as a surprise to you. However, identifying the most common problems for pedestrians and cyclists, which are in the list below, may help devise resolutions that could save lives:
- Failing to yield the right-of-way
- Driver inattention
- Disregarding traffic signals
- Backing unsafely
Some drivers will allege that cyclists are not following the rules or pedestrians are jumping out in front of them, but the data does not support this. In fact, the data shows that, in 2019, the cyclist or pedestrian was at fault in no more than 5% of fatal incidents. The bottom line is that motor vehicle drivers are overwhelmingly responsible for serious and deadly accidents involving cyclists and pedestrians.
The popularity of SUVs and trucks has increased the potential for serious injuries or death due to their weight and profile. Even station wagons tend to be involved in a large number of these crashes. If you tend to walk or ride a bicycle as you travel through New York City, your risk of injury or death has risen in the last couple of years.
What happens if a vehicle strikes you?
Even though you survived your accident, you most likely suffered serious injuries that prevent you from getting back to your normal life quickly. You have probably already amassed a significant amount of medical and medical-related expenses, lost time from work and incurred other damages. Fortunately, you may pursue the maximum amount of compensation you deserve to cover your current and future financial losses.
Perhaps just as importantly, you will receive the justice that the criminal justice system may not provide you since such a small percentage of drivers face criminal charges as a result of collisions involving pedestrians and cyclists.