Personal injury lawyer David Perecman reminds drivers of snow removal vehicles and pedestrians to watch out for each other. A potentially dangerous situation may occur if a pedestrian is unaware that the snow-clearing vehicle is approaching, or if a driver of the machine does not see a pedestrian.
In Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, an elderly pedestrian died after being hit by a backhoe moving snow. The 73-year-old man was struck and killed by the vehicle as it was clearing snow while going in reverse, said NBC News (2.3.14). The backhoe was not a New York City plow.
Also in the news, a snowplow in Brooklyn knocked down a man with a wave of snow while he was walking down Coney Avenue. The snow clearing truck plowed so forcefully, the snow also shattered the front door of a business. Video showed that the man appeared to be uninjured as he walked away from the accident scene, reported NBC News (2.7.14)
Work zones are a known danger for pedestrians. A pedestrian may not see the snow clearing vehicle because he or she may be looking down at the pavement to make sure he or she does not fall. While backing up, the backhoe or snowplow operator may not see a person crossing behind their vehicle and hit them.
It was unreported whether either of the vehicles in the news were being operated with at least one flashing, rotating, or oscillating light and-or a reverse signal alarm. Warning lights and back-up alarms help prevent pedestrian injuries and deaths.
“It is the responsibility of the vehicle’s driver to proceed safely and watch out for pedestrians. Snow off a plow blade can be dangerous, and the vehicles can be dangerous as well. When drivers are careless or negligent, injuries or death can be the result for pedestrians,” said Perecman.
The NBC News articles cited are “Backhoe Clearing Snow Strikes, Kills 73-Year-Old Man in Brooklyn” and “Man Knocked Over by Wave of Snow from Plow Truck.”