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Pedestrian Deaths Increase Nationally But Decrease in the Hudson Valley (UPDATED for 2023)

The headlines about car crashes involving pedestrians and bicycles have been coming in:

Pedestrian Deaths Spike in U.S. as Reckless Driving Surges

Study: SUVs, pickups hit pedestrians more often than cars do

Pedestrian deaths up in 2020 despite lower driving rates

The studies are showing that nationally, pedestrian and bicycle deaths have increased by 51% since reaching a low point in 2009, and account for 17% of crash fatalities. The massive and troubling increase is being attributed to having an aging population where the elderly are more vulnerable, people moving to the Sun Belt region, where roads may prioritize speed over safety more than other regions, and to the increasing size of trucks and S.U.V.s.

Thankfully for our community, these national trends have seemingly not applied to the Mid-Hudson Valley region of New York State. According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management & Research, across the three counties of Dutchess, Orange and Ulster County, pedestrian accidents have declined by 49% since 2011, and seem to have stabilized at a much lower level than in the past.


What are the possible reasons that pedestrian accidents have decreased so much?

  • Enhanced infrastructure – it’s possible that improvements to sidewalks, crosswalks and pedestrian signage have created a safer environment for pedestrians
  • Traffic calming measures – it’s possible that moves to reduce speed limits, add speed humps, raised crosswalks and narrower traffic lanes have forced drivers to pay more attention to surroundings
  • Public awareness – it’s possible that ongoing efforts to distribute brochures, workshops and public safety messaging has had a cumulative effect
  • Law enforcement – it’s possible that law enforcement agencies have done more to enforce traffic laws that pertain to pedestrian safety, acting as a deterrent
  • Technological enhancements – features like automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detecting systems, blind-spot monitoring and backup cameras may have reduced the risk of accidents

How to obtain compensation if you are injured as a pedestrian or bicyclist in a crash or accident

The many expenses that are incurred from being injured in a crash can add up: medical bills, physical therapy,  missed work, the loss of ability to earn a living in the future, loss of enjoyment of life, and pain and suffering all add insult to injury. 

Once you’ve gotten medical care, if you’ve been injured in a crash as a pedestrian or bicyclist, it doesn’t hurt to get a free personal injury consultation at our offices in Kingston, NY or Poughkeepsie, NY. Call 845-600-0000 and we will discuss the specifics of your case and answer all of your questions from start to finish.

The biggest question of any personal injury case is determining who was at fault for the injury and what duty they owed to the accident victim.

According to compiled police reports, there are many possible circumstances of pedestrian and bicycle injuries.

The most common include:

  • Pedestrian crossing with no signal or crosswalk
  • Pedestrian crossing against signal
  • Car not on roadway
  • Pedestrian working on roadway
  • Riding against/with traffic
  • Pedestrian emerging from in front of/behind parked vehicle
  • Pedestrian getting in/out of vehicle

Whatever your circumstances are, there is a chance that someone failed in their duty to you as a pedestrian or bicyclist. It’s possible that the driver wasn’t paying adequate attention, or that the road or traffic signals were inadequately designed or maintained, or a defect in the driver’s vehicle caused the accident, or a combination of many factors. 

Our role as personal injury attorneys is to identify who was at fault and obtain the maximum possible compensation for our clients through negotiation or if necessary, going to trial.