According to a report released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more bicyclists and pedestrians were killed in 2018 than in any other year since 1990. While vehicle manufacturers install an increasing number of safety features on vehicles, the trend in pedestrian and cyclist deaths has been disturbing. The number of pedestrians killed increased by 3.4% over 2017 to 6,283. The number of bicyclists rose by 6.3% to 857. These rises took place even as overall traffic deaths decreased. But what is leading to this increase in deaths?
Some experts believe that as more Americans purchase large trucks and SUVs, they are protecting themselves but putting pedestrians and bicyclists at risk. These larger vehicles may reduce the visibility of pedestrians and bicyclists and make them harder to see. Larger vehicles have larger blind spots, especially through rear windows.
In addition, larger vehicles mean a heavier impact on pedestrians and bicyclists who don’t have the same protections as a car. Trucks and SUVs are more prone to run over pedestrians rather than throw them up on the hood as a car would. This leads to an increased risk of death or catastrophic injury.
Distracted driving likely plays an important part in the increased number of pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities. About 10% of fatal crashes involve distracted driving. Drivers are frequently talking on their phones and texting, which causes them to be cognitively and visually distracted. In addition, sometimes pedestrians are glued to their cellphones and are unable to react in time to avoid an accident. However, a report released by the New York City Department of Transportation found that texting while walking was rarely to blame for accidents.
The report found that pedestrian and bicyclist deaths are more likely to occur in urban areas than in rural areas. This makes sense as there is more interaction between pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles in an urban setting. New York City has seen the number of cyclist deaths nearly triple over the past year. Cities and drivers need to take steps to protect the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists.
Contact an Experienced Accident Attorney
If you were a pedestrian or bicyclist who was injured in an accident, you should consult with an experienced accident attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have been helping injured New Yorkers for over 50 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.