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National initiative to reduce pedestrian vs. car accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration leads the National Pedestrian Safety Month during October. However, the New York Department of Transportation and other agencies are already collaborating on a commitment to improving pedestrian safety. Their focus is on Long Island and upstate New York, and the plan was initiated in 2016, with plans to continue it through 2021.

According to the NHTSA, in 2018, fatal pedestrian accidents happen every 84 minutes nationwide. The agency further says that the risks faced by pedestrians increases significantly after daylight savings time ends. Furthermore, from September through February, one-third of the fatal pedestrian accidents occur in the evening hours.

The NHTSA is using this month to increase awareness and encourage both drivers and pedestrians to be alert and comply with rules and regulations that are in place to limit these preventable deaths. Drivers are urged to always be on the lookout for pedestrians and to take extra care during times of low visibility. Drivers should not pass stationary vehicles at crosswalks because they may be stopped to let pedestrians cross the road. They must also always yield to pedestrians at crosswalks and stop far enough back to allow other drivers to see pedestrians.

In turn, pedestrians must use sidewalks if possible and walk facing oncoming traffic when no sidewalks are available. Pedestrians should dress in bright or reflective colors and use flashlights if they walk after dark. Victims of pedestrian vs car accidents may have grounds to pursue financial relief through the New York civil justice system if these incidents result from another party’s negligence.

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