The holidays are officially upon us, which means more people will be on the road than usual. However, the increase in traffic also implies an increased risk for pedestrian accidents. Below, we’ll discuss why pedestrian accidents spike during the holidays, steps you can take to protect yourself from harm, and what you can do if you are injured in a pedestrian accident.
Pedestrian Accidents Increase During the Holiday Season
Pedestrian accidents tend to increase during the holiday season, and there are a variety of reasons for this. For one, many people get out and shop for gifts during the holiday season. Many stores and malls have sales beginning around Thanksgiving and continuing through New Year’s Day, and people are understandably eager to take advantage of good deals.
As a result, motorist and pedestrian traffic tend to increase over the holidays, which means accidents are statistically more likely to occur. And roadways aren’t the only areas where pedestrian accidents occur. Many pedestrians are hit by distracted motorists in parking lots of shopping centers and other stores. It’s a busy time of year, and drivers can easily fail to notice nearby pedestrians.
The holidays are also a time for celebration and coming together. Many people attend events, parties, and family gatherings during the holidays, and alcohol is consumed at many of these functions. Unfortunately, some drivers then get behind the wheel of their vehicle and drive home drunk. Alcohol impairs a driver’s judgment, limits their ability to concentrate on the road, and reduces reaction time. If a drunk driver suddenly encounters a pedestrian, they may not realize it in time to avoid a collision.
Because people travel more during the holidays, motorists visiting friends and family in cities and towns they are unfamiliar with may threaten the safety of pedestrians. Motorists who don’t regularly drive in certain areas are more likely to get confused and distracted, leading to accidents.
Because pedestrian accidents tend to increase during the holidays, it’s essential for motorists and pedestrians alike to remain vigilant.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in New York
Some common causes of pedestrian accidents in New York include:
- Drunk driving – Intoxicated drivers may fail to notice pedestrians or make reckless decisions around them. Drunk driving is especially prevalent around the holidays.
- Distracted driving – Distracted driving occurs when a driver turns their attention away from the road to another activity.
- Fatigued driving – Like drunk driving, fatigue can impair a driver’s ability to focus on the task of driving, increasing the risk of an accident.
- Reckless driving – Drivers who speed or fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at intersections can easily cause a terrible accident.
- Driving too fast for conditions – In some cases, drivers may hit pedestrians because they are traveling too fast for conditions. For example, if a driver is speeding through an area with heavy foot traffic, they put pedestrians at significant risk of injury.
Compensation for a Pedestrian Accident
If you were injured in a pedestrian accident, you could be eligible to recover compensation. Compensation is designed to help you cover financial and non-financial losses resulting from the accident.
You may be able to claim compensation for:
- Present and future medical expenses related to your injuries, including hospital bills, rehabilitative care costs, surgery costs, prescription medical expenses, and more
- Lost wages if you are unable to return to work while you recover from your injuries
- Lost earning potential if the accident leaves you temporarily or permanently disabled and unable to perform the full scope of your job duties
- Personal property damage
- Pain and suffering, including physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by the accident
Pedestrian Safety Tips
Follow these tips to protect yourself when walking alongside or near roadways:
- Be visible – Unfortunately, drivers often fail to notice pedestrians, especially at night. To ensure that you are visible to motorists, you should wear bright, reflective clothing if possible. Consider wearing a reflective vest, and carry a flashlight to light your path. You should also avoid walking in areas with little to no street lighting as much as possible and try not to take shortcuts through dimly lit alleys.
- Utilize sidewalks – When sidewalks are available, use them. If there are no sidewalks available and you must walk on the roadway, stick to the far left shoulder and walk in the direction of oncoming traffic to increase your visibility.
- Obey traffic signals – Don’t enter a crosswalk unless the traffic signal permits you, or a police officer directs you to. Don’t rush out into the street in front of oncoming traffic.
- Don’t walk in isolated zones – If possible, you should always walk with a friend or someone else who can render aid if a motorist hits you. Walking in pairs can also protect you from criminal activity.
- Never assume that motorists can see you – Negligent motorists fail to notice pedestrians for all sorts of reasons, including distracted driving, impaired driving, and fatigue. Never enter a roadway believing that oncoming motorists can see you.
How Finz & Finz, P.C. Could Help
If you were severely injured in a pedestrian accident, contact the New York pedestrian accident attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. today to discuss your case and review your legal options. You may be entitled to recover compensation for your injuries and other losses, and our attorneys will work tirelessly to help you pursue the settlement you deserve. Contact us by phone or online today to schedule your free and 100% confidential case review with a knowledgeable member of our team today.