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Crosswalks Do Not Prevent Pedestrian Injuries, Study Finds

A new study revealed that pedestrians struck by cars are most often hit in the crosswalk, while they had the right of way.

The survey of New Yorkers, done by the NYU Langone Medical Center, found that 44 percent used a crosswalk at the time of the collision, and six percent were on a sidewalk. It also found that taxicabs pose the biggest threat to cyclists, and being overweight may protect against serious injuries.

The study looked at more than 1,400 pedestrians and cyclists treated at Bellevue Hospital Center after a collision. The research also discovered that 15 percent of pedestrians and 11 percent of cyclists consumed alcohol before the accident, 8 percent of pedestrians and cyclists said they were injured while using an electronic device.

Taxis were responsible for 40 percent of cyclist injuries, compared with 25 percent of pedestrians. The study also found that less than 1/3 of cyclists wore their helmets.

New York Officials believe the findings reinforce their beliefs that the city needs bike lanes, pedestrian plazas and other traffic-calming measures.

The time of day also played a role in pedestrian accidents, with 60 percent of incidents occurring between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., the highest-traffic hours of the day.

The study does have some shortcomings, including that those who died at the scene of the crime were not included, and the data was based on victim self-reporting.

Although the study focused on New York City traffic, South Florida is also one of the top states for pedestrian and cycling accidents.

Bicycle, pedestrian and in-line skating accidents often involve some type of negligence on the part of the vehicle, such as:

  • Driver inattention (failing to "see" the bicyclist, pedestrian, or in-line skater)
  • Aggressive driving, such as speeding
  • Failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks
  • Failing to yield to bicyclists in bike lanes

For more information, please contact us.

Source: The New York Times, "Study of Injured Pedestrians Shows Even the Crosswalk Isn't Safe" April 3, 2013.

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