Recent studies have shown that the nation has had a dramatic increase in pedestrian fatalities within the last decade. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), there were 6,227 U.S. pedestrians killed in 2018, which is the highest amount in almost three decades.
Despite this grim reminder, there is some good news for New Yorkers. According to the GHSA, New York has had one of the sharpest declines during this time period and leads the nation in pedestrian safety measures. However, there is still an average of around 100 New Yorkers that die from being at the wrong place at the wrong time on the street every year.
While there are several factors that contribute to these staggering numbers such as cell phone usage, collected data from the GHSA may imply that the popularity of SUVs has some correlation with the death count. It is important to understand why these vehicles are so dangerous before heading into the streets of the Big Apple.
SUV sales are up
The GHSA reported a dramatic increase in light trucks within the last decade. They nearly doubled in sales from 2008 to 2017. These vehicles are primarily getting blamed for the death count increase because their larger sizes mean there’s a higher chance the victim would die after getting hit.
What makes this especially problematic for New Yorkers is that ride services such as Uber prefer using large, black SUVs over the typical yellow cabs. Since there has been a significant increase in ride service usage in the last decade, there’s also been a surplus of black SUVs speeding through the city. Since most of them are black, they are difficult to spot in darker areas and during the nighttime.
The report cited speeding and insufficient road crossings as some of the leading factors in pedestrian deaths. New York may have improved its laws over the last decade to slow more drivers down, but there are still plenty of motorists in a rush to get to their destination in this dreadful traffic. Many ride service drivers are also going fast due to the amount of competition here. It’s called “The city that never sleeps” for a reason.
There’s plenty of crosswalk options in the city, so look for an alternative one if you need to cross the street but don’t have a sufficient one near you. It should go without saying that you need to look at all directions before crossing the street, but plenty of pedestrian deaths are the victim’s fault. When you plan on traveling in darker areas or during the night time, wear bright reflective clothing to give the drivers more time to react.
If you or a loved one end up getting hit by a negligent SUV driver, consider your legal options to aid in the recovery.