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Pedestrian/vehicle crashes are on the rise

By October 10, 2016Personal Injury

Our personal injury department has obtained over $100 million dollars for our clients since 1980. Although we’re proud to have helped our clients receive financial restitution for their losses, no amount of money will compensate a person for permanent injuries or a family for the loss of a loved one.  Pedestrians are no match for a motor vehicle and sadly pedestrian accidents are on the rise.

Early one morning at the end of September, a 67-year-old man was struck by a truck while crossing Niagara Falls Boulevard to catch a bus.  The man, who died of his injuries, was the fifth pedestrian over the last three years to be killed by a vehicle in this section of the Boulevard on the Amherst-Tonawanda border.

“That time of day, when it is just beginning to change from darkness to light, is particularly dangerous for pedestrians,” said Brian D. Knauth, attorney, Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys, PLLC.

Pedestrian accidents have been on the rise in recent years with 4,735 walkers killed in vehicle crashes in 2013, comprising 14 percent of total traffic fatalities. This is an 8 percent increase from 2011 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  On average, there is a crash related pedestrian death every two hours. Pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a car crash than passengers in vehicles.

“Statistically, older adults — like this man who was over 65 — and children under the age of 14 are more at risk to be involved in pedestrian accidents,” said Knauth, who has been handling personal injury cases for the firm for more than 16 years.

Increased speed limits, such as the 45-mile-per-hour speed on Niagara Falls Boulevard, increases the likelihood a pedestrian who is hit by a motor vehicle will not survive the accident.  The difficulty with parts of Niagara Falls Boulevard, according to Knauth, who has obtained millions of dollars in settlements for victims of negligence, is that it is extremely congested.  There are vehicles attempting to change lanes and get across to stores on each side of the road, and drivers go fast in spite of the congestion.

“Visibility is an issue on that stretch of road. The towns involved may want to work to reduce speed limits and create a better flow of traffic,” he said.  “Drivers need to increase their efforts to reduce distractions, and there should be safeguards put in place for both pedestrians and bikers.”

“With increased bikers and pedestrians, It is critical that motorists be aware of what is going on around them at all times,” Knauth said. “Our firm can help victims who have been wrongfully hurt through the negligence of a driver obtain fair compensation for their injuries.”

If you, a loved one or someone you know has been injured in a vehicle/pedestrian crash, call Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys, PLLC, for a free consultation, or go to our website, jeffreyfreedman.com for more information.