Did you know that New York State has the highest fatality rate in the nation for pedestrians? Topping the list of states at 29%, New York State’s roads are among the deadliest for pedestrians, according to statistics reviewed by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign. 

Although many of these accidents occur on the busy streets of New York City, Westchester County and surrounding communities contribute to these numbers. Out of 12 downstate counties, Westchester had 30 pedestrian fatalities on its roadways. The most dangerous streets, with two fatalities each, were Crompond Road, Old Post Road, and US 1.      

Causes of Increased Pedestrian Deaths

Why are these horrible accidents occurring? A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study concluded that 75% of pedestrian deaths occur when it is dark outside. There are many other contributing factors as well. 

According to the NHTSA, the following are some of the most common factors that lead to pedestrian death: 

  • Alcohol use
  • Failure to yield right-of-way
  • Driver inattention
  • Pedestrian error
  • Increased use of electronic devices, both while walking and while driving
  • More SUVS and larger passenger vehicles on the road, which have a greater chance of resulting in death to pedestrian

In addition, with the COVID-19 outbreak, many more people have taken up walking in their neighborhoods for exercise, rather than heading for the gym. This puts more pedestrians on the roads.

Recent Westchester Pedestrian Accident 

Although the data found that most of these accidents occur at night, when it is more difficult to see and be seen, day-time accidents occur as well. In Yonkers, on February 8, 2021, there was a deadly crash involving an off-duty Yonkers police sergeant and an 80-year-old pedestrian near Kimball Avenue and Fox Avenue in Westchester. Currently, no violations or charges have been filed and the accident remains under investigation.

Measures to Prevent Pedestrian Deaths

There are many suggestions being considered to help lower these numbers. Municipalities can help pedestrians by installing better crosswalks and sidewalks, better streetlights, and refuge islands placed in the middle of busy roads. 

Similarly, car manufacturers can improve headlights to boost a driver’s vision in the dark. Likewise, pedestrians can help drivers by always facing traffic, being aware of a blind curve, staying far enough off the road and by wearing bright, reflective clothing.

Recently, the New York State Department of Health issued a warning on Facebook regarding pedestrian safety. “You see headlights, but the driver may not see you, especially walking at dawn, dusk or after dark. See and Be Seen!”

Representing Pedestrian Accident Victims

Losing a loved one in an accident is nothing short of tragic. Our legal team at Injured 914 is dedicated to helping families and injury victims recover compensation throughout Westchester County. If you were injured as a pedestrian or have lost a loved one in this type of accident, contact our firm for a free consultation to discuss your legal options.