In New York City, most residents find that they can get around faster and more efficiently if they choose to take their trip by foot. While drivers in vehicles and trucks are required to provide pedestrians with the right of way, pedestrians are more susceptible to accidents and subsequent injuries while walking in the city. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were just under 4,750 pedestrians involved in fatal road accidents in 2012 – while 76,000 were injured. In order to stay safe while walking in the city, it is important that a pedestrian understand what increases his or her risk, and the steps that he or she should take to avoid serious injury.
Assessing a Pedestrian’s Risk Level
All pedestrians are ultimately at-risk for accidents with a vehicle, but there are certain types of pedestrians who have a higher risk. Children, and pedestrians over the age of 65, are at a heightened risk for accidents while on foot. Accidents with motor vehicles and individuals who are impaired, due to drug or alcohol use, are especially common.
10 Steps to Remain Safe While Walking in the City
If you are walking in the downtown area, or even in the rural areas of New York state, there are things that you can do to reduce your risk for injury. These steps also apply to joggers and runners, and include:
- Always keep yourself visible to others on the road. This includes wearing brightly colored clothing, reflective shoes, and even reflective strips, when walking at night.
- Carry a flashlight or headlamp while walking or jogging at night, so vehicles can see you.
- If there is no crosswalk, avoid crossing or jaywalking. Vehicles have difficulty seeing pedestrians when they are not in the marked crosswalks. Instead, walk to where you can find a crosswalk, and then cross the road.
- Always make eye contact with the drivers of vehicles near you, especially before crossing in front of a vehicle.
- Do not be distracted while walking or jogging. Put your cell phone or music devices away, as needed.
- Make sure you pay attention to all traffic signals, road usage rules, and signs. While they apply to vehicles, knowing when vehicles are required to stop can ensure that you do not walk in front of oncoming traffic.
- Always stay in well-lit areas when on the street.
- Never walk or run in the street. Instead, stick to sidewalks. If a sidewalk isn’t available, walk or run facing the oncoming vehicles so that drivers can see you.
- Do not walk or run on street areas where pedestrians are not allowed – which includes highways.
- Always stop at the curb and look both ways before crossing the street. This should be done even if there are designated crosswalks and crossing systems.
Speak with an NYC Personal Injury Attorney Now
If you have been injured in an accident with a motor vehicle, it is likely that you will suffer from devastating – if not lifelong – injuries. The expert attorneys at Schwartzapfel® Lawyers, P.C. understand how serious these injuries can be. That is why we work with our clients after their injury to help them receive the compensation that they are entitled. Schedule your free consultation to discuss your accident at 1-877-737-4806 or fill out our online contact form with your questions.