Doctors at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens have noticed an increase the number of injured pedestrians and bicyclists coming to their emergency room. They say that more than 20 percent of all injuries in the busy facility involve traffic accidents of some kind.
The new police commission, Bill Bratton, pointed out that the number of people killed on NYC roadways each year is about the same as the number of people murdered. He has announced that he will focus on reducing traffic accidents in the coming months. Physicians at Elmhurst Hospital say that one way to do this would be to penalize people for behaviors that lead to accidents and injuries while walking or driving – cell phone use, eating and other actions that can distract from safe walking or driving. The hospital treated 296 people for pedestrian and bicycle injuries in 2012, and increased over 275 in 2010. Numbers for 2013 are not yet available. Around two-thirds of the patients were walking when injured.
According to doctors, the intersection at Queens Boulevard and Woodhaven Boulevard is among the worst spots for pedestrians accidents in Queens. Traffic accidents involving pedestrians are also common on Northern Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue.
According to City Councilman Danny Dromm, who represents Elmhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights, three children were killed in traffic accidents this year in his district. He has worked with the city to extend curbs on streets near schools, allowing walkers to see oncoming traffic more easily.
Dromm says there are three things that could reduce pedestrian accidents in his district and throughout New York City: education, engineering and enforcement.
Source: Daily News, “Elmhurst Hospital doctors say pedestrian injuries are continuing to rise in Queens,” Dec. 16, 2013.