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New law hopes to reduce fatal pedestrian and bicycle crashes

On Behalf of | Jul 22, 2022 | Injuries

Brooklyn is New York City’s most populated borough and it is unique in many ways. Its diversity and range of people who live there are part of its charm. Many shun the use of a car and prefer public transportation, bicycles or simply walking from one place to another. This is undoubtedly a positive, but with how busy the streets of Brooklyn are, it can also place them in jeopardy of injuries and loss of life in an auto accident.

Given how congested the streets are, the number of drivers who simply ignore the law, are distracted, drive under the influence, speed and behave recklessly, it is no surprise that safety is a hot-button issue across the city and especially in Brooklyn. Since pedestrians and bicyclists are experiencing a troubling increase in fatal accidents in recent years, lawmakers decided to do something about it. Despite that, accidents are still, unfortunately, going to happen and knowing what options are available is essential.

Governor signs law adding bicycle and pedestrian safety to driver’s license requirements

Pedestrian and bicycle safety will now be part of the requirements for drivers to get a New York driver’s license. This came about after Gov. Kathy Hochul signed legislation making it mandatory that drivers are educated about these issues when they take their written test before pursuing a driver’s license. There are fundamental laws that drivers must follow with pedestrians and bicyclists. The guidelines will also be added to the handbook drivers are given as they prepare to learn to drive and take their tests.

This comes about as pedestrians and bicyclists are seeing an increase in incidents in 2022. Compared with previous years, there was a 44% spike in accidents involving riders and walkers. The New York City Department of Transportation issued a report for the first quarter of 2022. It looked at the locations of the crashes and why they occurred. This is done to assess whether the streets themselves were prone to accidents or if other factors were the cause.

Some locations are worse than others and authorities may need to enhance safety. Brooklyn accounted for more than 30% of the crash locations through March. Pedestrians accounted for 38.6% of those involved; bicyclists were 9.5%. At 27.3% of the overall accident locations, drivers who were distracted or not paying attention were categorized as the catalyst for the accident. Next came failure to yield at 18.2% and speeding at 14.1%.

Brooklynites need to know what to do after a fatal accident

After a collision, injuries are common and these can be costly in myriad ways. When there is a fatality, the costs are exponentially worse as the family left behind will be wondering how they will move on after the unexpected accident. Brooklyn is increasingly a destination for young families and when there is a fatal accident, a spouse and children could be alone not knowing how they will make ends meet. There could be lingering medical expenses and questions as to what will happen.

Having assistance from professionals who are from Brooklyn, know the terrain, understand the landscape and are familiar with the courts and community can make a major difference in achieving a positive result when determining what to do after fatal personal injury accidents. Consulting with professionals who have extensive experience and awareness of the law and the borough itself can be invaluable in trying to achieve a positive outcome.