New York City Pedestrian Accident Attorney Jonathan C. Reiter Explains Pedestrian Accidents & Injuries


New York City, NY, Jan. 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- It’s easy to appreciate just how much the roads have changed in such a short amount of time. Areas that were previously congested are now free of bumper to bumper traffic, and commutes that might have taken an hour or so are accomplished in a fraction of the time. 

While it seems like pedestrians would be safer with fewer cars and trucks on the roads, this isn’t necessarily the case everywhere. It’s true that some cities have seen reductions in the number of pedestrian accidents, but other areas have seen accident rates return to pre-pandemic levels. 

According to media reports, the authorities believe these increases could be due to motorists and pedestrians alike engaging in riskier behaviors. For example, some motorists driver faster than usual because they enjoy having the road to themselves. Similarly, pedestrians might take it for granted that the roads are clear of traffic and be less vigilant as a result. 

Pedestrian Fatalities Jumped  

First, pedestrian deaths have been increasing for a number of years. According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA), pedestrian fatalities increased by five percent between 2018 and 2019. Over the past 10 years, pedestrian deaths have increased by 60 percent. 

At the same time, all other traffic fatalities have increased by just two percent between 2009 and 2018. 

Pedestrian Accidents Decreased at the Start of the Pandemic

In the beginning of the pandemic, many cities saw a reduction in the number of fatal pedestrian accidents. It makes sense that removing cars from the roads would make the roads and cities safer places for pedestrians and bicyclists. Many cities also reported a sharp decline in motor vehicle accidents. 

In California, for example, motor vehicle accidents fell by 50 percent when cities started issuing quarantine orders. This corresponded to a 60 percent reduction in traffic. 

However, decreases in traffic and pedestrian accidents in some areas was only a temporary phenomenon. In Los Angeles, for example, car accident rates saw an initial decline but then reversed course and surged back to 2019 levels as of May 2020. 

According to one report, the Los Angeles Police Department says it has observed an “alarming increase” in motor vehicle fatalities starting in the latter part of March 2020. 

Reports state that police departments believe the increase is due to a “surge of speeding” now that streets have emptied. Additionally, less congested streets has led to more people walking and bicycling. 


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