A blurry windshield with raindrops on it.

Pedestrian accidents in New York City are, unfortunately, common, given the bustling streets and high foot traffic. One often overlooked contributing factor to these accidents is weather. Adverse weather conditions can significantly increase the risk of injury to pedestrians, highlighting the need for increased awareness and caution among both pedestrians and drivers.

The Perfect Storm: Weather Conditions in NYC

New York City experiences a range of challenging weather conditions throughout the year that contribute to a decrease in pedestrian safety, including:

  • Rain: NYC experiences frequent rainfall throughout the year, leading to wet and slippery sidewalks, crosswalks, and streets, increasing the risk of injuries for pedestrians.
  • Snow: During winter, snow can accumulate on sidewalks and crosswalks, creating hazardous conditions for pedestrians and reducing traction for drivers on slick city streets.
  • Ice: Snowmelt and refreezing can result in icy sidewalks, crosswalks, and slippery streets, posing a significant risk of pedestrian accidents as drivers deal with a reduced ability to stop their vehicles.
  • Fog: Foggy weather reduces visibility, increasing the likelihood of pedestrian injuries when making turns or at crosswalks when a driver fails to see a pedestrian.
  • Wind: Strong winds, particularly during storms or inclement weather, can create hazardous conditions for those on foot and for drivers due to debris, tree branches, or other objects.

Pedestrian Accidents in NYC: The Shocking Facts

Driving in New York City is challenging at the best of times. With poor weather conditions, limited visibility, and slippery streets, pedestrians are at an even higher risk of being hit by a vehicle. Under Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York City implemented “Vision Zero,” an initiative to reduce the number of traffic accidents to zero. Sadly, the city continues to have shocking numbers of pedestrians injured or killed, with 7,688 pedestrians injured and 93 deaths in a recent year, as reported by Streetsblog NYC.

Negligent Driving and Pedestrian Accidents in NYC

Bad weather combined with negligent driver behavior dramatically contributes to the tragic number of pedestrian accidents in the city. Some examples of negligent conduct in bad weather include:

  • Failing to reduce vehicle speed in poor weather: A driver who operates a vehicle without considering weather and road conditions may be unable to bring the vehicle to a stop, hitting a pedestrian.
  • Operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol: Impaired driving contributes to poor judgment and reaction time, made worse in poor weather conditions.
  • Speeding on slick city streets: Some drivers violate city speed limits, which are even more dangerous in poor weather.
  • Failing to yield at crosswalks: Many deadly pedestrian accidents occur on crosswalks. Rain, snow, and fog increase the risks for pedestrians.
  • Running red lights and stop signs: In poor weather, running a red light or stop sign is illegal and even more dangerous for those on foot when visibility is reduced.
  • Unsafe right or left turns: Pedestrians are often the victim of negligent driving when crossing a street and being hit by a driver who is either moving too fast or failing to see the pedestrian due to reduced visibility.
  • Distracted driving: Drivers who are on a cell phone, talking or texting, or otherwise distracted in poor weather conditions are putting all those on foot at serious risk of injury or death.

Supporting You After a Weather-Related Pedestrian Accident

At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP, we want everyone to stay safe on the streets of New York City, rain or shine, but we know accidents happen. If you’ve been involved in a weather-related pedestrian accident, turn to our personal injury lawyers for help. With our extensive history of positive case results, you can count on our New York pedestrian injury attorneys to stand firm as your dedicated legal advocates.

Call us today at (212) 986-7353 for a free consultation.

Posted in: Pedestrian Accident