New York intersections deadlier than the national average

A recent study shows that New York has some of the deadliest intersections in the country for pedestrians.

A new report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) shows that New York has some of the deadliest intersections in the country for pedestrians, reports NBC New York. The Empire State also had the highest number of traffic deaths involving elderly pedestrians in the country. The report found that across the nation fatal pedestrian accidents are reaching 25-year highs, with safety experts saying that the dramatic increase may be due to a combination of distracted driving and impaired driving, especially involving marijuana.

New York's dangerous intersections

New York's intersections were far more dangerous for pedestrians than the national average. There were 294 pedestrian deaths that occurred at intersections in New York between 2014 and 2016 out of a total of 879 overall pedestrian deaths. That means that 33 percent of pedestrian fatalities in New York occur at intersections. By comparison, nationwide the percentage of pedestrian deaths that occurred at intersections was just 20 percent.

Furthermore, the GHSA study found that elderly road users are particularly vulnerable in New York. About 23 percent of pedestrian deaths in New York between 2014 and 2016 involved an elderly person, which was the seventh-highest rate in the nation. The overall pedestrian death toll of 204 elderly people in that same time period was also the highest in the nation.

Pedestrian deaths reach nationwide peak

As NPR reports, the GHSA report found that nationwide pedestrian deaths in 2017 remained about the same as the year before, close to approximately 6,000. That represents a 25-year high for pedestrian fatalities. Furthermore, 43 percent of all U.S. pedestrian deaths occur in just five states - Arizona, California, Florida, New York and Texas - despite those five states accounting for just 30 percent of the U.S. population.

There are many reasons why pedestrian fatalities are rising. For one, more Americans are moving to cities, which is where pedestrian accidents are more likely to happen in the first place. Also, it is widely believed that distracted driving is playing a role in the growing death toll, although quantifying the extent of that role is difficult since drivers who cause an accident because they are distracted rarely admit to doing so.

Finally, marijuana use may be to blame as well. The GHSA notes that in the seven states plus the District of Columbia that legalized recreational marijuana use between 2012 and 2016, those states saw a combined increase of 16.4 percent in pedestrian deaths in the first half of 2017. In the rest of the country, pedestrian deaths decreased by 5.8 percent.

Personal injury law

Pedestrians who have been hurt in an accident often have many questions about what rights they have and whether their insurance will cover them for the financial toll their accident caused. Anybody who has been hurt in a crash should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will guide victims through the claims process and show them what compensation they may be entitled to.