Numerous dangers exist for drivers on Brooklyn roadways, regardless of
their age, and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
traffic death statistics reflect this fact. Nevertheless, there are many
car accident fatalities that are not included in the annual NHTSA death
toll that drivers normally look at. These accidents commonly occur off
the roads, on private roadways and/or in driveways. Even worse, many of
them involve small children who are backed over by distracted drivers.
According to NHTSA figures, approximately 34,000 people died in roadway
crashes in 2012. The previous year saw approximately 32,000 deaths, and
the year before that approximately 33,000. These figures, however, do
not include the people who lost their lives in what the NHTSA calls Not-in-Traffic
Accidents. While the number of not-in-traffic motor vehicle deaths is
not large in comparison to in-traffic crashes, it is important to consider
these figures from the perspective of pedestrian and child safety.
Indeed, from 2008 until 2011, nearly 6,500 people died from not-in-traffic
collisions. These types of incidents include parking lot crashes, single-car
crashes on private property and pedestrians getting run over in driveways.
They also include incidents of car exhaust poisoning and vehicles crushing
people by falling on them. Perhaps the most distressing fact, however,
is that nearly 13 percent of these fatal car accident victims are young
children below 5 years of age, and nearly half of those toddlers are killed
after a motor vehicle backs over them in a driveway.
Children are particularly vulnerable to back-over crashes caused by distracted
drivers, mainly because they are small and under the field of vision of
rearview mirrors. Nevertheless, it is a Brooklyn driver's responsibility
to watch out for pedestrians, no matter how big they are. In many fatal
pedestrian car accident cases, the driver can be held liable for the loss
of life that occurs. While there is no way that a civil court case can
bring back a loved one lost in such an unfortunate incident, relatives
of victims may be able to seek restitution for pain and suffering and
the various financial costs that resulted from the crash.
Source: usa.streetsblog.org, "The Death Toll From Cars Is Even Higher Than
You Thought", Tanya Snyder, April 21, 2014