Pedestrian accident study examines factors surrounding fatalities

Thousands of pedestrians are killed in traffic accidents each year. Many occur in rural areas or at intersections.

In a busy state like New York, countless people choose to walk rather than deal with congested traffic. Pedestrians are a familiar sight, whether they are residents or tourists. While the health and environmental benefits of walking are already known, unfortunately walking near traffic can also be extremely dangerous. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 263 people lost their lives from being struck by cars in New York State in 2014. Additionally, 46 bicyclists and other cyclists were killed in New York that year.

Pedestrian accidents are a problem not just in New York, but across the country. In 2012, 4,743 pedestrians were killed by cars. Out of these, 5 percent involved children ages 14 and under. Overall, 22 percent of all fatal traffic accidents involving children were pedestrian accidents.

Results of study show common pedestrian dangers nationwide

A study by Smart Growth America has analyzed the facts and figures in order to prevent more pedestrians from being killed in accidents. In the study, it was determined that high-speed, arterial roadways that connect home neighborhoods with work and shopping centers are common across the United States and contribute to the majority of pedestrian deaths. More people are killed walking along rural roadways than in urban areas. Pedestrians are exposed to more danger in cities while trying to cross the street at crosswalks or intersections. Pedestrian accidents are also more likely to occur at night, when drivers' visibility is reduced.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following people are the most at risk of being killed by cars while walking:

• Children, who may not fully understand the risks or understand traffic rules

• Senior citizens, who often walk to get around if they no longer drive

• Alcohol-impaired people, who may walk home late at night, rather than risk a DUI by driving drunk

An incident that occurred in January in Newburgh drove home the point of pedestrian dangers. According to the Daily Freeman, a man was crossing the street when a 77-year-old woman hit and killed him. The woman was determined to have been driving while intoxicated. She received DUI and manslaughter charges.

It would not be unreasonable for the man's family to pursue compensation against the driver who was liable for his death. You may be entitled to seek compensation if you or a loved one is injured in a pedestrian accident. An experienced New York personal injury attorney should be able to examine the circumstances surrounding your case and let you know the options available to you.