Chaos reigned in Times Square after a car jumped a curb on 7th Avenue and 45th Street in New York on Thursday, killing one woman and injuring at least 22 others.
"Everybody was just running, everyone was concerned for their lives," says witness of Times Square crash pic.twitter.com/ZIRph5x0ig— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 18, 2017
Police are testing the driver for alcohol intoxication, and believe the collision was an accident. The driver is reportedly a Bronx man in his twenties, with multiple driving-related infractions on his record, according to a tweet by ABC7NY’s News Desk.
Pedestrians are disproportionately affected by car accidents, and New York walkers are no exception. 4,884 pedestrians died and roughly 65,000 were injured in 2014 as a result of motor vehicle accidents, according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This comes at a time when overall traffic fatalities have decreased dramatically, from 43,510 deaths in 2005 to 32,675 in 2014.
Despite the promising overall fatality reduction of almost 25 percent, pedestrian deaths remained relatively unchanged during that time period, averaging roughly 4,615 deaths each year.
Don’t Take Walking Lightly
Walking is an everyday activity for many Americans, but it often comes with unnecessary dangers. Too few crosswalks or drivers ignoring crosswalks are just some of the ways pedestrians are forced into perilous situations, leaving them seriously injured or killed by the abundance of cars on the road.
Negligent driver behavior like disregarding traffic laws, driving recklessly, or driving under the influence can result in a breach of the “duty of care” drivers owe pedestrians. This often shows up as distracted driving, speeding, a failure to use turn signals, or a failure to yield the right of way at crosswalks, all of which can contribute to endangering the lives of walkers. It’s important to remember pedestrians must also abide by best practices during travel, and avoid hazardous behaviors like darting out in front of cars or jaywalking.
Recovering damages for a pedestrian accident can be very difficult, particularly in states like New York or Florida that have “no-fault” insurance laws that seek to limit lawsuits. The no-fault laws, also called Personal Injury Protection (PIP), aspire to pay out claims promptly regardless of fault. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and you may need to seek legal assistance to get justice.
Authorities continue to investigate the circumstances behind the tragic Times Square crash. The incident comes on the heels of a promise from the NYPD to crack down on traffic law violations, particularly speeding, and force drivers to follow the rules of the road.
Feature Photo: A screenshot of a CBS New York breaking news report.
(Editor’s Note: This is a news story from the ‘Morgan Monitor,’ a news wire offering legal perspectives on news in your community.)