She was a 27-year old Harrison, NY social studies teacher, a volleyball coach and a dedicated Boston Red Sox fan. But a home heating oil truck struck her in a recent pedestrian accident just a few steps from her home in Murray Hill, Manhattan and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to police sources and witnesses, the victim was wearing headphones when she was hit by the truck. Although the truck driver was charged with failure to yield to a pedestrian and failure to exercise due care, the accident investigation is ongoing. Could there be another factor in this tragic death?
Distracted Walking Is a Risky and Growing Phenomenon
Distracted walking is not funny, no matter what you see on YouTube. Whether lost in the tunes coming from headphones or falling down stairs while staring at smartphones, pedestrian accidents due to distractions can cause serious injuries and even death.
Pedestrian distractions including headphones, handheld devices, reading or snacking are dangerous practices, particularly on busy city streets. Almost 6,000 pedestrians died in U.S. traffic crashes in 2017, a 1.7% increase from the prior year and the highest number in more than 20 years. (statistics from the Governors Highway Safety Association GHSA)
Play It Safe When Walking to Avoid Injury
Wearing headphones or earbuds reduces a pedestrian’s awareness of traffic and other nearby activity. When stepping on and off a curb, descending stairs or using an escalator, pull down headphones for safety.
Here are tips to avoid distracted walking:
· Focus on the vehicle traffic around you as well as people and obstacles in your vicinity.
· When taking or making a cellphone call or text, step out of the flow of pedestrian traffic. Never stop in the street to use your smartphone.
· Don’t jaywalk – cross streets only at crosswalks and traffic lights.
· Don’t assume! Cars may not stop for you even if you are in a crosswalk. Try to make eye contact with the driver and begin crossing only if the vehicle stops.
Read more pedestrian safety tips at this National Safety Council website.
Contact Us If You Have Been Injured in a Pedestrian Accident
If you or a family member has been harmed by a defective product, car accident, truck accident, construction accident, slip and fall or any other type of personal injury, please contact StolzenbergCortelli, LLC Attorneys at Law immediately. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorneys Howard Stolzenberg and Terrence James Cortelli, personal injury attorneys in White Plains, Nyack and New York City, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 800-494-0889 or contact us via the website.