New York streets and sidewalks are crowded. Pedestrians have to hustle and sometimes claim their ground to get their space on sidewalks. Obeying the rules of crosswalks and sidewalks are crucial in order to cross safely and arrive at your destination alive. Although you may not be able to control vehicles around you, you can do certain things to ensure your safety while crossing the street.
Dangers of NYC Crosswalks
New York State averages nearly 300 pedestrian fatalities each year. In conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration, New York State Department of Transportation is sponsoring a statewide effort to increase pedestrian traffic and to make walking safer in the state. Despite much effort to make the sidewalks and crosswalks of New York safer, pedestrians remain at high risks of accidents, especially when using crosswalks.
Rules of the NYC Crosswalk
Under New York Vehicle & Traffic Law section 1150, pedestrians must obey traffic control signals when they are crossing a street. If a crosswalk does not have a traffic control signal, drivers must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians in the crosswalk (Sec. 1151). If there is no crosswalk, then the New York Department of Transportation dictates that pedestrians must yield the right of way to motorists.
Crosswalks Are Risky
It is a well known fact that New York crosswalks are inherently dangerous. Even with the restrictions and state laws set by the Department of Transportation, crosswalks continue to pose great risks for pedestrians. Common risk factors include:
- Distracted drivers
- Impaired drivers (alcohol related and drug related)
- Low visibility of night driving
- Poor driving conditions
Tips for Safely Crossing NYC Streets
There may be no way to ensure your safety as a pedestrian, but there are steps you can take to help you stay safe while crossing sidewalks.
- Follow the crowd while crossing – staying in groups while crossing the street will make you more visible to oncoming traffic.
- Know where you’re going – knowing where you are going and where there are crosswalks with traffic signals will be safer.
- Stay alert to traffic – staying alert to traffic conditions around your will help keep you safe.
- Dress appropriately – if you plan on walking the streets after dark, you should wear light-colored clothing with light-reflective accents to make you more visible to oncoming traffic. The more visible you are, the less likely you will get into an accident.
Call Us Today!
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury in a pedestrian accident that was caused by the reckless actions of another party, you may have a valid personal injury claim and be entitled to monetary compensation. For more information or to consult with one of our experienced NYC pedestrian accident attorneys, please call Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. at 1-800-529-9997.