New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

Pedestrian Deaths More Likely to Occur in Lower Income NY Neighborhoods

Posted on Apr 17, 2017 in Pedestrian Accidents, Wrongful Death

After a pedestrian collision that causes a fatality, family members of the victim who was killed in the accident should talk with New York City wrongful death lawyers to find out what legal rights they have. Unfortunately, fatal pedestrian accidents occur far too commonly and families are left facing shattered lives as they try to pick up the pieces.

According to AM New York, the risk of a pedestrian accident is not the same throughout the city and some people are far more likely than others to die in a fatal pedestrian accident. In particular, statistics show that people in lower income neighborhoods within the city are more likely to be hit by a car and killed than people in wealthier areas.

Pedestrian Accidents Disproportionately Occur in Lower Income Neighborhoods

AM New York reported on data from the New York City Departments of Health and the New York City Department of Transportation. The data revealed that the rate of pedestrian accident fatalities in high poverty neighborhoods is close to three times higher than the rate of pedestrian accident fatalities in wealthier neighborhoods.

In New York City, data on pedestrian death collected from 2012 to 2014 shows that for every 100 miles of roads, there were nine pedestrian fatalities in high-poverty neighborhoods. However, for every 100 miles of road, there were just three pedestrian fatalities in low poverty neighborhoods.

This data confirms the discrepancy between pedestrian accident deaths in rich and poor neighborhoods that has been revealed in other research that has been conducted in various cities throughout the United States. Similar research virtually all shows a correlation between living in a high poverty area and having a higher risk of dying as a pedestrian in a motor vehicle collision.

There may be more fatalities in these higher poverty areas because these locales are not able to afford infrastructure to create safer streets. One report on child pedestrian fatalities, for example, revealed especially high rates of fatalities among children around public housing areas.

The high fatality rates in these locales were attributed to more people crossing mid-block due to the way that streets are laid out. There were also a disproportionate number of people speeding in the area.  Unfortunately, the research suggests that lower income areas simply tend to have wider and faster streets, both of which make pedestrian fatalities more likely to occur.

The executive director of Transportation Alternatives, who conducted the earlier research into child fatalities, indicates that it is not the actions of individuals causing higher fatality rates; instead, it is “streets that are dangerous by design.”

Hopefully, new planned safety initiatives will help to improve conditions in higher risk areas so something can be done about the disproportionate risk. When accidents do happen, it is important for the families of victims to know what their rights are. Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff can help those who were harmed, so contact an attorney as soon as your loved one is killed or as soon as you are injured in a collision.

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