Who Is Most At Risk for Pedestrian Accidents on Long Island?
- December 11, 2019
- By Gerard Devita
Oftentimes, the streets of Long Island favor motor vehicles over the safety and well-being of pedestrians. Pedestrian-unfriendly corridors force individuals to walk along streets with no sidewalks and no protections from other cars. Individuals are also put at risk when they are not given safe crossways to cross at within a reasonable distance from one another.
According to the New York Department of Health, there are an average of 12,506 emergency department (ED) visits every year in New York because of pedestrian accidents. These accidents lead to a yearly average of 3,027 hospitalizations and 312 deaths.
Certain roads are particularly dangerous when it comes to car accidents on Long Island. Fulton Street and Route 109 in Farmingdale is a notorious intersection for pedestrian injuries in Nassau County. Suffolk County’s Route 110 and New York Avenue in Huntington Station is another common place for pedestrian-vehicle collisions.
Yet, being hurt in a Long Island pedestrian accident has as much to do with who you are as it does where you are. In other words, certain people are more likely to be hurt — or killed — in a pedestrian accident than others. Specifically, the most vulnerable populations are the young, the old, and the economically disadvantaged.
If you have been hurt in a pedestrian collision, you deserve justice no matter who you are. Working with a Long Island car accident lawyer can help you obtain compensation from all liable parties. Call (631) 543-7070 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation case review with one of our Long Island pedestrian accident attorneys now.
Children More at Risk for Pedestrian Accidents on Long Island
Children are particularly at risk for pedestrian accidents for a number of reasons.
For one, children have not fully developed yet, so they may not be able to process the dangers associated with walking along a busy street. Therefore, they may be more prone to risky behaviors, such as running out into the path of cars or trying to fetch objects that have rolled into the street.
Children can also have poorer judgement when it comes to crossing. They may misgage the speed that a vehicle is travelling, or they can falsely assume that a vehicle will yield to pedestrians at crosswalks — which they are legally supposed to do, but not something you should bet your life on on Long Island.
It can also be harder for oncoming vehicles to spot children, since they are smaller and less visible. Children can tend to cross while exiting from between two vehicles, giving the oncoming vehicle no indication that someone was crossing until the child pedestrian was in the street.
Young Men and Teens
Teens and young males are statistically much more likely to take risks. That’s why their insurance rates are so high.
A study of speeding tickets handed out by the Minnesota State Patrol found out that a third of all the tickets were given to drivers aged 16 to 25, despite the fact that this demographic only made up 13% of the state’s population. Men also got speeding tickets at a rate 50% higher than women.
These same statistics may apply to risky behaviors when it comes to pedestrian accidents, even if it is not the main cause of the accident. NY Dept. of Health data reveals that emergency department visit rates from pedestrian accidents were highest among males and individuals 20 – 24, followed by New Yorkers 15 – 19.
Adults 65 and older may not get into pedestrian accidents at a higher rate than other age groups, but they do tend to get hurt more often. NY Dept. of Health data showed that even though 15-24 year olds had the highest rates of ED visits for pedestrian accidents, adults 65 and older were the most likely to be hospitalized or to die from their injuries.
Older adults are, “more likely to be injured or killed in traffic crashes due to age-related vulnerabilities, such as more fragile bones,” asserts AAA. The company cites the fact that older drivers’ accident fatality rates are 17 times higher than age groups 25 – 64 years old.
Elderly pedestrians may also lack the speed and reaction times that could save them from an errant driver had they been more in their prime, potentially making them more likely to be involved in a serious pedestrian accident than other groups.
Economically Disadvantaged Individuals
The easiest way to tell whether or not you’re likely to be injured as a pedestrian has nothing to do with your age, biological sex, or propensity for risk. Instead, study after study shows that the biggest risk factor for pedestrian accidents is income.
Poorer individuals are more likely to walk than drive, after all. Their trips also tend to lead them over busier streets as they travel to work or go to buy necessities at shops.
Compounding this risk is the fact that poorer neighborhoods tend to be less pedestrian friendly. Many can lack sidewalks or crosswalks of any kind. When one woman in Marietta, Georgia was faulted for causing the death of her four-year old son because she chose to cross a street illegally, it was pointed out by defenders that she would have had to walk two-thirds of a mile before she could find the nearest legal crosswalk. Meanwhile, her apartment complex was right across the street from the bus stop she just departed from.
Native Americans, African Americans, and Hispanic individuals also tend to be injured at a much higher rate than white, non-hispanic individuals.
Economic disparities and unequal opportunities clearly affect Americans’ health and safety in deeper ways than most people would assume.
Options for Obtaining Compensation after a Pedestrian Accident on Long Island
You have multiple possibilities for obtaining compensation as a pedestrian accident victim on Long Island. This compensation can pay for the costs of your medical bills, your lost wages while you miss work, your out of pocket expenses, and potentially even your pain and suffering.
If you have personal injury protection (PIP) insurance — AKA “no fault” insurance — you can file under your own insurance if you were hit by a public service vehicle. This type of insurance is mandatory in New York for all owners of registered vehicles, but you may not have it if you don’t own a vehicle.
You can also potentially file a third-party bodily injury liability (BIL) claim against any at-fault drivers involved in your accident. Hiring a car accident lawyer on Long Island can help you identify all at-fault parties and pursue the maximum amount of compensation available under New York law.
Find out what your options for obtaining compensation could be after you have been hurt in a collision as a pedestrian when you call (631) 543-7070 or contact us online to schedule a free, no obligation case evaluation with an experienced Long Island pedestrian accident lawyer.
Contact us today!