Pedestrian accidents continue to occur in the Lower Manhattan section of New York City, with a recent danger being reported by an elementary school where several accidents at its Beekman Street location. On April 11 at about 8 a.m., a pedestrian accident occurred when a car jumped onto the sidewalk, scattering parents and children on their way to the school. A woman was hit by the car and taken to the neighboring Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital in what was described as stable condition.
The city is taking a new approach to the problem of pedestrian injuries and deaths on the New York streets. It is showing a gruesome video filled with real-life accidents in which pedestrian and bicycle riders are struck and mowed down by cars and trucks. Last week, New York cab drivers watched the video, including an interview of a mom who lost her 3-year-old daughter in a pedestrian accident when the girl was hit in a crosswalk in Flushing, Queens.
The city continues to experience pedestrian injuries and deaths on an almost daily basis. Taxis, buses and other commercial services licensed in New York are contributing substantially to the problem. The latest pedestrian accident, which achieved temporary Facebook fame, occurred on March 20 at Grand Concourse and 170th Street. It resulted in the death of a 5-year-old girl and a 25-year-old man, along with critically injuring a 55-year-old man.
In another pedestrian tragedy, a man was killed and his girlfriend seriously injured when struck by a Mercedes SUV while they were crossing E. 62nd Street at Lexington Ave. on Jan. 3. The driver was an Uber driver who was going to pick up passengers at the time of the pedestrian accident. The injured woman filed a lawsuit recently, claiming that the software used by Uber drivers violated New York law by distracting the driver.
A report of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign has found that 60 percent of the pedestrian deaths in the downstate New York area between 2011 and 2013 occurred in the five boroughs. The downstate area includes New York City, Long Island and the five counties just north of the Big Apple. The coordinator of the report stated that New York state still holds the worst record nationally for pedestrian deaths resulting from a pedestrian accident involving a vehicle.
Pedestrians can be found crossing the streets of New York at all times of the day and night. Although pedestrians should follow street crossing rules, it is also up to motorists to keep a watchful eye out for individuals crossing the street and yield accordingly. When this does not happen, it can result in a tragic pedestrian accident.
Anyone who has walked or driven through midtown Manhattan knows that many taxis and other vehicles are operated aggressively and discourteously, to say the least. Pedestrians and vehicle operators who are trying to safely transport themselves must be constantly defensive or risk disaster. In New York, the traditional flouting of the rules of safety in favor of the necessities of speed and commerce have added greatly to the pedestrian accident and auto accident numbers.
New York City is reporting success with its new policies designed to reduce traffic fatalities . In 2014, the city recently reported the lowest number of pedestrian deaths ever for one year of pedestrian accident reporting. That still comes to 134 pedestrians killed in 2014, but it is a significant improvement.
The Uber service is essentially a cab service that can be called by consumers from their mobile phone or other digital applications. It turns out that the driver who killed a 27-year-old golf teacher who was crossing the street in New York City last week was an independent contractor for Uber. He was reportedly on his way to pick up a passenger when he hit and killed the victim in a pedestrian accident.
In New York City, there appears to be a particular problem with elderly pedestrians being struck and killed while crossing the street. The statistics show more elderly are killed in a pedestrian accident as opposed to a younger pedestrians. That may indicate that an older person has a slower reaction time, and perhaps a body that is less elastic and more brittle than a younger person's, making the elderly more prone to pedestrian injury and death than others.