New York can be a hectic city where a police officer only needs a few minutes before hearing a situation they need to respond to. They navigate through the city’s terrible traffic as fast as they can to get to where they are needed. Unfortunately, that high speed has led to numerous officers putting themselves and anyone nearby in serious danger.

Winter is already the most dangerous season for both drivers and pedestrians. The cold ice can cause joggers to slip and vehicles to lose traction, and the lack of sunlight means both have limited visibility to see what is up ahead. There has already been several reported pedestrian injuries inflicted by police cars within the last couple of months. While these incidents are devastating, others could learn from them to improve their safety protocols when they go out on the streets.

High-speed death

Back in Cobleskill on November 9, an officer in a police cruiser spotted a vehicle speeding passed them and running a red light around 10 p.m. They pursued the vehicle and sped up to catch up to them. Unfortunately, just as they were passing a McDonald’s they struck a 26-year-old man crossing the street. Despite the police stopping to tend to his injuries, the man later died in the hospital.

The death received statewide attention from multiple media outlets, prompting the police to investigate the matter closely. The officer who struck the man tested negative for alcohol and drugs, but was placed on administrative leave. It is also currently unknown what speed the vehicle was traveling at and if they had their lights and sirens on that would have warned the victim. Reports also show that there were slick roads as a result of a rainstorm around that time.

Broken legs and building

On December 15, officers received a report of an active shooter in Brooklyn. Around 6:45 p.m., they swerved their SUV to avoid hitting a child that ran right in front of them. They ended up steering their vehicle on to a curb and struck a 32-year-old man before slamming into a building, tree and another car.

While it’s debated whether the vehicle clipped the child or not, the man the car struck received broken legs from the injuries and the two officers within the vehicle suffered from lacerations and injured necks.

Danger from duty

While both of these incidents may have some differences on who was fully liable for the accident, they do have some common traits between them. Both took place at night, both occurred during a high-speed chase and both of them took place during the winter months (though the weather affected one accident more than the other). When the sun goes down, the amount of motor vehicle crashes and criminal activities skyrocket. Pedestrians need to maintain a safe distance from the road if they see or hear a police car coming at high speeds. It is not worth it to either party to get too close if they are in hot pursuit.

Police officers need to also respect their surroundings and be careful when chasing criminals in highly populated areas. If you or a loved one end up victimized from a crash despite being as safe as you could, you should consider searching your legal options to see if you are eligible to receive coverage for personal injury.