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Safer streets will mean fewer head and brain injuries

There are many ways that a pedestrian can be hurt in a traffic accident here in New York. One common way is when a driver making a left turn cuts diagonally across the intersection, often at increased speeds, which makes it harder to stop quickly for a crossing pedestrian. Experts say that there are simple ways to prevent these types of collisions that often result in serious head and brain injuries. One of the most effective, according to a recent study, is by upgrading the infrastructure at intersections to encourage drivers to slow down. Experts say that adding rubber curbs and bollards to keep drivers from making diagonal, quick turns will save lives.

The study looked at changes one busy metro area made to crossings and whether the upgrades led to fewer accidents. It found a 70% reduction in the number of times that a driver or pedestrian had to use evasive maneuvers to avoid having a collision. The researchers also report that the new crossings reduced the speed of left-hand turns, which can reduce the chance of serious injury in the event that a collision actually occurs. 

Many cities are looking at making similar changes after statistics revealed that fatal pedestrian accidents increased by 53% from 2009 to 2018. Among all fatal traffic accidents, pedestrian fatalities account for 17%. Leaders in many cities responded by creating programs to help raise awareness of the problem and to reduce fatalities. Experts hope that this study will offer cities ideas in how to improve the statistics in their area.

Though these improvements are important and will likely save lives, it is doubtful that they will prevent all pedestrian fatalities. Pedestrians often incur head and brain injuries due to a collision with a car, and they may need extensive or even life-long medical treatment as they recover, if full recovery is even possible. Those here in New York who have been hurt by a careless driver may want to file a personal injury claim against a responsible party. An attorney can help those with questions determine how to proceed.

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