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Fatal Staten Island accident highlights increase in pedestrian deaths

There are many benefits to traveling on foot. Choosing to walk rather than drive is usually good for a person's health, as well as the environment. However, in recent years, as more people have decided to leave their car in park more often, there has been an unfortunate rise in pedestrian fatalities.

More People on Foot

When comparing the number of pedestrian accidents in the first half of 2014 and the first half of 2015, there was a six percent increase in the number of deaths. By the time final annual totals are compared, it is expected that this number will be closer to 10 percent. Since pedestrians are playing a bigger role in the overall traffic picture, they are also representing a larger portion of accident victims.

According to the Government Accountability Office, 14 percent of traffic fatalities in 2014 were pedestrians. In 2004, this was just 11 percent. As auto design improvements are made, drivers and passengers in motor vehicles are safer from serious injuries when a crash occurs. However, pedestrians are no better protected against potential dangers and serious injuries than they have been in the past.

Pedestrians vs. distracted drivers

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) suspects several reasons for the increase in pedestrian fatalities. Aside from the fact that the physical number of pedestrians has risen, it is important to note that the level of distraction has increased for both drivers and pedestrians. There has been a lot of criticism against driving while using mobile devices, but many pedestrians are more engaged in their cell phones and other devices as well. Fuel costs have also caused more people commute on foot instead of driving as they may have in the past.

Local communities, such as Staten Island have also experienced disturbing increases in pedestrian deaths. Staten Island alone saw nearly twice the pedestrian fatalities in 2015 versus 2014, with a jump up to 21 from 11 the previous year. One recent example came when a 73-year-old woman was struck and killed by a vehicle driven by a 55-year-old woman while walking in a crosswalk on Hylan Boulevard. The accident victim appears to have been following traffic and safety rules, while using the crosswalk. The driver is facing criminal charges including failing to yield to a pedestrian with an injury, and failure to exercise due care.

Recourse for accident victims

When a pedestrian dies in an accident, the criminal courts may seek justice for the sake of the community, but if you want justice and the compensation you need for your family, filing a wrongful death lawsuit is often necessary. At the O'Connor Law Firm, we offer free consultations to those who have been injured in an accident, or have lost a loved one for this reason. A wrongful death lawsuit can potentially help pay for things such as medical bills, missed work wages and pain and suffering, which can help a family begin to rebuild their lives. If you have lost someone due to a tragic accident, call 800-724-1053 to discuss your legal options and pursue the compensation to which you may be entitled.

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