What are the Most Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in New York City?

Countless factors could cause a New York City pedestrian accident– from dangerous street conditions to negligent motorists. No matter what causes them, the unfortunate reality is that many of them are fatal. In 2018 alone, there were 111 pedestrian accident fatalities in New York City alone. This represents an increase of 4.7 percent compared to the previous year.

Not all pedestrian accidents are fatal. In fact, the vast majority of individuals struck by a motor vehicle survive. That does not mean these injuries won’t have a tremendous impact on the victim’s life. Pedestrian accidents are often devastating, given how little protection a person has against a collision with an automobile.

If this has happened to you, you could be entitled to financial compensation. Contact the New York City pedestrian accident lawyers of Douglas & London r to learn more.

The following are some of the most common causes of pedestrian accidents in New York City.


According to Vision Zero, New York City’s plan to end traffic fatalities, dangerous drivers are a factor in more than 70 percent of all pedestrian traffic fatalities. Speeding is the most common and most dangerous. This can result in pedestrian accidents for several reasons. First and foremost, speeding motorists have less time to react to changing road conditions, including pedestrians stepping into their paths. Likewise, pedestrians have less time to avoid them.

Distracted driving

Pedestrian accidents are especially common when the driver has their attention turned away from the road. According to a study by New York University’s Langone Medical Center, the use of electronics like mobile devices by both the pedestrian and the driver are a major contributing factor to pedestrian accidents.

Intoxicated driving

Drunken drivers represent a significant threat to other motorists. The same is true for pedestrians. These motorists typically have reduced reaction time, making it difficult to stop when a pedestrian crosses their path. Additionally, drunken drivers also frequently demonstrate bad decision-making, which can result in these drivers taking dangerous risks they would have otherwise avoided.

Left-hand turns and intersections

Intersections represent a pedestrian’s primary route for crossing a road. Unfortunately, this is where most pedestrian accidents happen. Motorists who aren’t paying attention when entering an intersection are more likely than other drivers to collide with a pedestrian.

This is especially true for motorists navigating a left-hand turn. Turning left across traffic requires a motorist to split their attention between oncoming traffic as well as the lane they intend to turn into. Unfortunately, they do not always pay attention to the third potential hazard in this scenario: pedestrians crossing the street. This scenario is one of the most common ways people are hurt in New York City.

Failure to stop or yield

Left-handed turns are not the only risk to pedestrians legally crossing the street in an intersection. Drivers that fail to yield the right-of-way or come to a complete stop at an intersection also risk striking pedestrians as they cross.

Mechanical defects

While most of these accidents result from poor driver choices, they are not always to blame. In some cases, a mechanical defect with the vehicle could be responsible for the crash. The most common is the vehicle’s braking system, as well as issues with the steering wheel. When a defect is responsible, an injured pedestrian could pursue legal action against the part manufacturer with the help of New York City personal injury lawyers.

Contact us at Douglas and London for a free consultation

Do not attempt to seek compensation for your injuries on your own. Let a personal injury lawyer from Douglas & London guide you in your pursuit of justice. Call now to schedule your free consultation.