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Pedestrian deaths surged 10 percent during 2015

A recent Governors Highway Safety report indicates that, throughout the country, our nation’s streets are becoming increasingly dangerous places for pedestrians. According to the report, last year the number of traffic-related pedestrian fatalities nationwide surged 10 percent over 2014 numbers, making 2015 the most dangerous year for pedestrians in 40 years.

Why are so many pedestrians dying in our nation’s streets? The reasons are varied and complex and include an overall increase in the number of people who are choosing to walk to work and for exercise as well as an increase in the number of drivers who are distracted by cellphones and other devices.

Locally, statistics provided by the New York City government indicate that each year an estimated “4,000 pedestrians are seriously injured and more than 250 are killed” in traffic accidents throughout the city. In an effort to prevent the number of pedestrians who are injured and killed in traffic accidents, through its Vision Zero campaign; the city has reduced speed limits, ramped up speed enforcement efforts and worked to redesign streets to be more pedestrian-friendly.

Despite the city’s efforts to improve pedestrian safety, New York is among four states that, during 2015, accounted for 42 percent of the nation’s pedestrian fatalities. In addition to being aware and wary of the whereabouts and actions of drivers of personal motor vehicles, pedestrians must also be vigilant when it comes to city buses as, according to Amalgamated Transit Union, “one pedestrian is killed every 10 days by a city bus.”

Pedestrians who are injured or individuals who have a family member that is injured or killed in a pedestrian accident, are advised to seek the advice and assistance of an attorney who handles personal injury and wrongful death matters.

Source: Daily News, “Distracted drivers, pedestrians could be cause of 10% surge in pedestrian deaths, data shows," AP, March 8, 2016

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