Pedestrian Accidents in New York City
Pedestrian Accidents in New York City
Pedestrian accidents in New York City are on the rise. The New York Daily News recently reported that more than 20% of all emergency room injuries in Queens hospitals involve traffic accidents and pedestrians. In 2012, one hospital in Queens recorded 296 pedestrian injury cases, up from 275 in 2011.
Pedestrian Accidents and Distracted Drivers
Distracted drivers are the number one cause of pedestrian accidents. Distracted behaviors, including texting and cell phone use cause drivers to not pay attention, and this can be a dangerous combination on New York City streets.
Some of the most dangerous intersections in New York City are in Queens. These areas include Queens Boulevard, Roosevelt Avenue and Northern Boulevard. In Manhattan, the most dangerous intersection is Amsterdam Avenue and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dangerous Roads NYC is a great source of pedestrian injuries in Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn.
New York City Pedestrian Accidents Liability
If a driver violates the Vehicle and Traffic Law, and strikes a pedestrian, it is considered negligence per se and they are liable for the accident.
In cases where a driver is facing a steady green light, and entitled to proceed, he or she has a duty to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within a crosswalk.
The Court, in Martinez v Kreychmar found a driver responsible for a pedestrian accident where the victim demonstrated that she was walking within a crosswalk with the pedestrian signal in her favor. The driver failed to yield the right-of-way and struck the victim at a high rate of speed. The pedestrian, exercising due care, looked in all directions for cars before she started to cross the street.
A driver is also liable in a pedestrian accident where the driver fails to see something a normal driver would be able to see. This means that if a driver fails to see a pedestrian when they should have, the driver is at fault.
In the case of Sulamain v Thomas, the pedestrian was crossing the street in the crosswalk with the light in his favor when the driver struck him while turning through the crosswalk. The police report about the accident contained the driver’s admission that he didn’t see the walker. The driver was held liable for the accident.
Another case, Zabusky v Cochran, the pedestrian was was crossing a street when she was struck by a car. There was no dispute that pedestrian was walking within the crosswalk and that the light was in her favor. The driver admitted at her deposition that she struck the walker while attempting to make a left-hand turn and that her view of the crosswalk was unobstructed. Here too, the driver was liable for the pedestrian accident.
Pedestrian Accidents and the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law
A drive can also be held under the Vehicle and Traffic Law for failure to: obey traffic control devices and not yield the right of way to a pedestrian who was in a marked crosswalk; act with due care to avoid a collision with a pedestrian; move a stopped vehicle with reasonable safety; and, make a left turn with reasonable safety.
New York VTL § 1110 (a), dealing with obedience to traffic control devices, states: every person shall obey the instructions of any official traffic-control device applicable to him. The only excuse not to obey a light is if he driver is directed by a traffic or police officer, or is letting an emergency vehicle pass.
VTL § 1111 (a) (1), dealing with green traffic-control signal indications, provides: traffic, except pedestrians, facing a steady circular green light may drive unless a sign at such place prohibits turning. Such traffic, including when turning right or left, shall yield the right of way of pedestrians.
VTL § 1146, dealing with drivers using due care, provides: every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway and shall give warning by sounding the horn when necessary.
VTL § 1162, dealing with starting parked vehicles, says “no person shall move a vehicle which is stopped, standing, or parked unless and until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.
Finally, VTL § 1163 (a), dealing with turning movements by driver, says “no person shall turn a vehicle at an intersection until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.”
A driver who violates any of these rules can be held liable for a pedestrian accident.