New York State averages nearly 300 pedestrian deaths each year, and thousands more are injured. Insurers report injury claims rise sharply, starting on Black Friday for people who are hurt by motor vehicles in parking lots and garages.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 6,283 pedestrians were killed in the U.S. in 2018, the most since 1990. Distracted drivers caused a significant number of those fatalities.
‘Tis a season of distractions
The National Safety Council (NSC) says during the hectic holiday season, both drivers and pedestrians are more likely to be preoccupied with extensive to-do lists and in a hurry to get from one location to another. A survey illustrates this disturbing behavior, as people admitted to a host of distractions while driving through parking lots:
- 49% routinely watch videos on their cellphones and take pictures
- 50% read, compose and send emails
- 52% are on Facebook, Twitter or other social media apps
- 56% admit to texting
- 63% focus on adjusting their vehicle’s climate control or GPS
Technology is not a substitute for safety
Despite an ever-increasing number of safety measures offered by car manufacturers, one out of every 10 pedestrian deaths in the U.S. is the result of a car backing up, according to the NSC. The agency urges all drivers to use common sense and offers these reminders:
- Don’t rely on backup cameras or blind spot sensors, look over your shoulder and use your mirrors when backing out of a parking space.
- Before getting in your vehicle, conduct a 360-degree check looking for people and low-lying objects.
- Pull forward through the parking space, when possible, heading forward into traffic.
- Don’t cut across parking lanes when heading for an exit.
Hold distracted drivers accountable
Each year, thousands of people are hurt due to the negligence of drivers who are not paying attention. The result can be deadly for too many, while others suffer permanent or long-lasting physical and financial consequences. If you are hurt as a result of negligence, an experienced and aggressive personal injury attorney here in New York will fight for the compensation you deserve.