Pedestrian safety in New York is nothing to take lightly. If you’ve ever been to New York, you know that pedestrians face a unique set of challenges while walking the streets.
According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, between the years 2012 and 2014, a total of 497 pedestrians were killed as a result of accidents on the streets of New York. These deaths account for over half of the total 889 traffic fatalities in New York City.
What’s Being Done
Due to increasing dangers for pedestrians in New York streets, the New York State Department of Transportation and Health are working in combination with the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee on an exclusive safety campaign in New York State.
The New York State Pedestrian Safety Program uses “The Three E’s” to make streets safer for pedestrians:
The correct planning and design of facilities for pedestrians are vital in order to be used and operated productively. Not only are new facilities included in the plan, but enhancements will also be made to existing facilities.
It is crucial that pedestrian spaces are secure, practical, and user-friendly. Ideally, the engineering portion of the program should boost accessibility, mobility, and safety among pedestrian spaces.
The enforcement portion of the program is designed to help make sure that all program rules are properly imposed. After all, a safety program is only as effective as the officials who are enforcing it.
There are several educational videos provided by the program for pedestrians to view in order to help everyone stay safe on the streets of New York.
In addition to the videos, the program also provides helpful tip cards to help you learn how you should act as a driver and a pedestrian in New York.
How to Stay Safe as a Pedestrian in New York
According to the New York State government, you should consider the tips below as a pedestrian making your way through the streets of New York.
Make Sure Others Can See You
Incorporate retro-reflective materials into your wardrobe when on the street at night or during low-light circumstances.
Use a flashlight when walking at night. Bring a dedicated flashlight—don’t rely on your smartphone for light.
At night, be sure that you only cross the street in illuminated areas.
Maintain eye contact with drivers while crossing the street so you know they see you.
Don’t start crossing the street at the back of a parked vehicle.
Keep Clear of Risky Activities
Only walk on sidewalks. If no sidewalk exists, be sure to face traffic while you walk.
Avoid walking while intoxicated as it increases your likelihood of an accident.
Don’t expect vehicles to stop when they’re supposed to. Be sure to maintain eye contact with drivers rather than just looking at the vehicles. If a driver is distracted, they may not be focused on the road enough to drive with caution.
Don’t just rely on pedestrian signals when crossing the street. Before crossing, be sure to take a look for approaching vehicles.
When walking in parking lots or near on-street parking areas, be aware of engine sounds and backup lights.
Take Caution at Crossings
When possible, always cross the street at a marked crosswalk or intersection.
Follow pedestrian traffic signals.
Check the traffic to your left, right, and then left again prior to crossing the street.
Keep your eyes peeled for vehicles making turns. Be sure the driver is aware of your presence and plans to stop for you.
Take a look at all of the lanes you have to cross before stepping into the street. When one motorist stops, it does not necessarily mean that drivers in other lanes are aware of you and plan to stop for you, too.
Remove headphones from your ears and refrain from talking on your cell phone while you cross the street.
How to Keep Pedestrians Safe While Driving in New York
In order to help keep pedestrians safe, it’s a good idea for New York drivers to consider the tips below.
Stay Focused on Pedestrians
Consistently check the road and the sides of the road ahead of you for pedestrians.
View all areas for pedestrians before making a turn.
Don’t operate a vehicle after drinking alcohol or taking other drugs.
Don’t operate your cell phone in any capacity while driving.
Before you back up your vehicle, mindfully check for pedestrians coming near the rear end of your car. It is particularly important to keep an eye out for small children.
Maintain a clean windshield and turn your headlights on for the best visibility.
Submit to Pedestrians at Crossings
Whether a crosswalk is marked or unmarked, you are required to submit to pedestrians in these areas.
When turning at intersections, submit to pedestrians.
Don’t impede a crosswalk by blocking or parking in it.
Always stop when school bus flashing red lights are turned on.
Follow the Rules and Avoid Getting Aggressive
Never go ahead or take over a vehicle that has stopped for pedestrians.
Respect posted speed limits and come to a full stop at STOP signs.
Take additional care when you drive near children or older people who may not be able to see or hear you coming.
Constantly prepare yourself to stop for pedestrians.
We Are Here to Help
If you find yourself injured as a result of an accident, our attorneys at Koenigsberg & Associates can help. Our team is highly experienced in personal injury law, and we have helped numerous clients recover the compensation they deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact our firm with your case right away.
Call Koenigsberg & Associates today at (718) 690-3132 to speak with an attorney about your case.