An annual report by the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene shows that, yet again, auto accidents in New York City are the number one injury-related killer of children under the age of 15. Nearly 25% of all injury-related deaths of children in that age group are caused directly by auto collisions or pedestrian collisions on NYC streets.
The data that formed the backbone of this analysis was collected from death certificates and the City's medical examiner's. The authors of the report state that "Injuries are often inaccurately seen as a result of incidents that cannot be anticipated or avoided . . . however, most injuries follow patterns . . . that can be predicted and prevented."
And one of those patterns is particularly disturbing for young pedestrians. Surprisingly, children riding in automobiles are safer than those walking on sidewalks. The data shows that young ones are more likely to suffer fatal injuries when struck by vehicles while walking the streets or riding bicycles. By correlating the death certificate data with data compiled by the DOT, one finds that children are often killed when they step out into the street from between parked cars or cross against the light at crosswalks.
Is the driver at fault for these fatal auto accidents? Children entering the street may give drivers just milliseconds to respond but DOT crash data shows that the number one contributing factors for these fatal injuries is speed. Travelling at speeds higher than the posted limit gives drivers much less time to react to children in roadways.
Mayor De Blasio's Vision Zero policy hopes to lower legal speed limits across the City and create "slow zones" in high risk areas, thereby combating a major contributing factor to fatal auto accidents in New York.
If you or a family member has been injured as a pedestrian, bicyclist or passenger in a car, contact a New York City auto accident attorney. Learn how you can be compensated for your injuries, hospital/medical expenses and lost wages. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to protect your rights.