Driving in New York can be a real hassle, and many New Yorkers do not even own a car. Taking a taxi can get expensive, and riding in a crowded subway car can be uncomfortable. Sometimes, the best way to make your way around New York City is to simply walk where you want to go. Of course, all of us are pedestrians on a near daily basis, even if all we are doing is crossing the street at a crosswalk or walking through a parking lot. However, pedestrian accidents are common occurrences that can have devastating results.
Pedestrian accidents cause many fatalities every year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019 alone, just over 6,205 people in the U.S. lost their lives in a pedestrian accident. This means that, in 2019, a pedestrian is killed in a pedestrian accidents every 85 minutes. It is important both for pedestrians and motorists to walk and drive safely, in order to avoid auto-pedestrian crashes.
Pedestrians can stay safe by following the rules of the road. They should walk on the sidewalk if there is one. If there is not, they should walk facing traffic and as far away from the road as possible. They should avoid using a cellphone while walking and should avoid walking if they are impaired by alcohol or drugs.
If possible, they should cross the road at crosswalks, intersections or a well-lit area, and they should look both ways before crossing the street. They should make eye contact with motorists and should wear reflective clothing or a flashlight if they are walking during the nighttime.
Motorists also have a duty of care when it comes to sharing the road with pedestrians. Motorists should keep an eye out for pedestrians whenever and wherever they are driving. If they are driving during the night or poor weather conditions, extra care should be taken to avoid striking a pedestrian.
If entering a crosswalk, motorists should reduce their speed and be prepared to stop to yield to pedestrians. It is not advisable to pass other motorists stopped at a crosswalk, as there may be a person crossing the street.
Driving while impaired should never be done. It is also important for motorists to drive no faster than the posted speed limit, especially if there are pedestrians present. This may mean slowing down in school zones and other areas where children are present. Motorists should also be careful backing up, as there may be a pedestrian behind them.
Pedestrian safety is a shared responsibility, but even the most careful pedestrian can be hit by a car, causing serious injuries or even death. When this happens, it is important to understand your rights and options, including the possibility of filing a lawsuit. Our firm’s website on pedestrian accidents may be of use to those who want to learn more about this important topic.
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