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Statistics: Brooklyn deadliest for pedestrians, cyclists

Newly released statistics show that Brooklyn is one of the most dangerous areas for pedestrians and people on bikes. People who live in Kings County, New York, are more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident than those in other parts of the state, with 48 deaths attributable to these car accidents. Brooklyn was also responsible for about one-third of the city's injuries sustained in a car accident for cyclists and pedestrians; nearly 5,400 people were hurt in 2012.

City-wide, 136 pedestrians and 19 cyclists were killed in collisions during 2012. More pedestrians were killed in the city in 2012 than motorists, ostensibly because New York and its boroughs have higher populations that travel on foot. Only 80 drivers perished in collisions in 2012, a sharp contrast to the 155 total fatalities attributable to the pedestrian and cyclist accidents.

The numbers have prompted the NYPD to increase its enforcement against drivers who are careless around pedestrians and cyclists. Advocacy groups are putting pressure on the department to press charges against those who strike pedestrians while sober; currently, the NYPD rarely prosecutes those who are not drunk at the time of such incidents. Surprisingly, only one of the sober drivers in 2012 who killed a pedestrian ended up facing charges. In essence, a comprehensive campaign against drunk driving may be able to prevent these tragic accidents.

Pedestrians and cyclists who have been injured in traffic collisions should consider filing personal injury suits against the drivers who caused the harm. This is particularly true if the driver was drunk and convicted in criminal proceedings, as a civil trial could easily prove negligence if the driver was intoxicated. Personal injury suits allow victims to be compensated for their ailments, permitting repayment of medical and legal bills. Victims can also seek compensation for loss of income if they were incapacitated and unable to work. Pain and suffering should also be considered in these suits.

Source: New York Post, "B'klyn mean streets," Jennifer Fermino, Feb. 1, 2013

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