Pedestrian fatalities remain stable but stubbornly high in 2014

To cut down on deaths, New York City begins installing guards on trucks

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) says that U.S. pedestrian fatalities likely remained unchanged in 2014, according to U.S. News & World Report. While the GHSA says that it is glad fatalities didn't rise, it notes that fatal pedestrian accidents are more frequent today than they were just a few years ago. In New York City, which is currently in the midst of a campaign to eliminate traffic deaths, officials have begun installing protective guards on city buses to protect pedestrians and cyclists.

Pedestrian deaths unchanged

The GHSA report says that 2,125 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the first six months of last year, which was about the same as the 2,141 pedestrians killed during the same time period in 2013. While the fact that fatalities have gone unchanged may be a good thing, officials point out that 2014's statistics are 15 percent higher than in 2009.

New York ranks high for pedestrian fatalities due to the state's large, urbanized population. In New York, 28 percent of all traffic fatalities involve pedestrians, a percentage that is second only to the District of Columbia. The state also had the fourth-highest number of pedestrian fatalities in the country after California, Florida and Texas.

Protective guards

As part of New York City's Vision Zero campaign, which aims to eliminate traffic fatalities in the city, officials recently announced that 200 city trucks are being fitted with protective guards to protect pedestrians and cyclists, according to the New York Daily News. If the guards prove successful, nearly 5,000 city trucks could be retrofitted in the future.

The guards are in response to an accident in Queens in January that killed a cyclist after he was hit by a sanitation truck. The guards help prevent cyclists and pedestrians from getting trapped under and dragged by trucks. Despite trucks making up less than four percent city traffic, they are responsible for 32 percent of cyclist deaths and 12.3 percent of pedestrian fatalities.

Pedestrian accidents

Although New York City's roads are improving for pedestrians and cyclists, dangerous and often deadly threats remain. These accidents frequently result in particularly severe injuries, which not only prove physically and emotionally painful, but can lead to significant financial hardship. Some accident victims may never fully recovery from their injuries and may have a difficult time finding employment afterward.

A personal injury attorney can help defend the rights of accident victims. With qualified legal representation, people injured in a collision in New York will have a much greater chance of recovering the compensation they may need to help contend with the many challenges raised after an accident.