Friedman, Hirschen & Miller, LLP

Pedestrian accidents have their own particular brand of horror. There is something about the vulnerability of an unprotected person against the unexpected impact of a moving, heavy force like a car or truck. New Yorkers recently learned about two upstate pedestrian fatalities, each of which involved alcohol.

Recent New York pedestrian fatalities

First, in May 2013 a 27-year-old jogger was fatally struck by an automobile driven by an 85-year-old in Champlain near the Canadian border. The female pedestrian-accident victim was running on the shoulder of the road with friends. The Press-Republican reports that the driver had an illegal blood alcohol content of 0.12 at the time of the accident and has been charged with three felonies and three less serious offenses.

Next, on a June afternoon in Saratoga Springs, the 28-year-old intoxicated operator of a pickup truck ran a red light, and struck and drove over a 55-year-old woman who was legally in the crosswalk. The driver was reportedly charged with vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving.

Be careful in New York crosswalks

Surprisingly, but consistent with the Saratoga Springs tragedy, The New York Times reports that in a recent study of patients admitted to New York City's Bellevue Hospital Center after pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents, most were found to have been struck while in crosswalks "with the signal on their side."

The statewide picture

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles released 2011 state statistics about pedestrian-motor vehicle accidents across the state with these findings:

  • There were almost 16,000 such accidents that year.
  • Almost 300 pedestrians die.
  • Almost 15,700 pedestrians were injured.
  • The most common time of day they occurred was late afternoon.
  • The most common days they occurred were Tuesdays and Fridays.
  • Of those accidents reported to police, almost 400 involved alcohol; more than 3,500 involved distracted drivers; and in almost 2,900 of them the drivers did not properly yield the right of way.
  • Roughly two-thirds of the drivers were male, with the highest numbers of them from 45 to 49 years old.
  • The most common age range of female drivers was from 25 to 29 years old.

Seek legal recourse

Anyone injured or with a loved one killed in a New York pedestrian accident with a car, truck, bus, taxi or other type of motor vehicle should speak with an experienced New York personal injury attorney to understand available options for legal recourse like a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. If the driver was negligent, reckless or worse, he or she or his or her insurance company may be liable for money damages to the victim or his or her family.