Many New York residents are killed or injured in pedestrian accidents each year, and data from the NHTSA indicates that busy urban streets such as those found in Queens are particularly hazardous for those traveling on foot. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a pedestrian is killed every two hours in the United States, and those over the age of 65 or under the age of 15 have a higher risk of being struck by a motor vehicle while out walking.
The wife of a CBS senior vice president was struck by a bicyclist in New York's Central Park. The 58-year-old woman was reportedly stepping off a curb when she was hit by a bicycle being operated by a 31-year-old man who was swerving to keep from hitting a group of pedestrians. The victim was kept on life support for a few days before she died.
A New York truck accident resulted in the death of a 91-year-old woman on July 18. The driver of the city sanitation truck involved in the pedestrian accident received a summons for failure to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian.
Mayor Bill deBlasio has been trying to make New York City's streets safer; not from crime, but from dangerous driving. His Vision Zero initiative has lowered the speed limits in specific areas of the city with the goal of reducing the number of crashes and pedestrian accidents. Among the five boroughs, there are 21 zones that have been added to the program. The New York Police Department will have officers on hand to not only enforce the lowered speed limits, but also distracted driving prevention, running red lights and any other traffic violations.
There is no denying the fact that New York City is a pedestrian's city. Even though the streets are always congested with cars and trucks, many people live without cars. In some respects, not having a car can be safer, as there are far fewer chances of getting into a car accident, but pedestrians are not always safe.
Drivers in New York have the responsibility to drive safely in order to avoid accidents -- especially when it comes to watching out for pedestrians. Drivers also have a responsibility to maintain a valid driver's license. In order to encourage drivers to refrain from driving on a suspended license, two lawmakers in Queens have decided to introduce legislation that will stiffen the punishments when someone is involved in an accident that results in an injury or death while driving on a suspended license. More often than not, the unlicensed driver is also a negligent driver.
Police are still looking for answers in the deadly auto-pedestrian accident that claimed the life of one and injured four more when a driver in a Jeep drove straight into a crowd of people near the Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Yonkers. For the victims and their families, not knowing the who and why of the accident has likely left them with a sense of injustice as well as searching for what to do next.