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Staying Safe As A Pedestrian On The Streets Of New York City

On Behalf of | Aug 29, 2014 | Firm News

Following on from our blog last week, we thought it prudent to give our readers a heads-up as to which are the most accident-prone areas of NYC, and what you can do to stay safe.

Many of us walk in the city every day of our lives, and with pedestrian accidents on the rise, it’s even more vital to be aware of trouble spots, and to pay heed to our surroundings. Of course, accidents can, and do, happen everywhere, and you should always be alert to possible danger; however, the fact that some streets and roads are considered to be dangerous enough for them to now be designated slow zones does not mean you should be any less vigilant when getting around the city on foot.

Where are the worst streets to be a pedestrian in New York City?
According to the Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s recently-released rankings for the period 2010-2012, pedestrians in the following areas should exercise more caution:

Broadway, Manhattan
Nine pedestrians have lost their lives on what is considered the most dangerous street to be walking along.

Woodhaven Boulevard, Queens
With eight pedestrian fatalities, this street ranks a close second.

Second Avenue, Manhattan
Saw seven pedestrian deaths in the same period.

Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, and Seventh Avenue, Manhattan
Also between 2010-12, six pedestrians lost their lives on each of these streets.

First Avenue, Manhattan, Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, Union Turnpike, Queens, and Northern Boulevard, Queens
Each of these streets had five pedestrian deaths.

Where is the worst area to be a pedestrian?
With 123 pedestrian fatalities in during 2010-12, Brooklyn is deemed to be the most dangerous area of the city in which to be a pedestrian. Queens is not far behind, with 115 deaths, Manhattan comes in third with 89 fatalities, and The Bronx is fourth with 72. Conversely, Staten Island, while not perfect, had far fewer pedestrian deaths between 2010-2012, with just 21.

Risks to older pedestrians
This month, the Tri-State Transportation Campaign released the findings of their survey, Older Pedestrians at Risk: A Ten Year Survey and Look Ahead. According to the study, the 60+ age group accounted for 38 percent of all pedestrian deaths between 2003 and 2012 in downstate New York. At age 75 and over, while only representing 6 percent of the population, this age group nevertheless accounted for 18 percent of pedestrian loss of life. New Yorkers aged 60-74 are three times as likely as younger people to fall victim to fatal pedestrian accidents, while those aged 75 and above are four times as likely. Unsurprisingly, Manhattan came out as the worst place to be an elderly pedestrian, with 42.5 percent of fatalities in the 60+ age group.

How to stay safe on the streets
SafeNY has issued a set of guidelines on how to stay safe as a pedestrian. As with motorists, pedestrians have a responsibility to ensure their own safety and that of other road users.

These rules include:

  • Using sidewalks wherever and whenever possible.
  • If there are no available sidewalks, pedestrians must walk as far to the left as possible, facing oncoming traffic.
  • Pedestrians must always obey traffic signals and officers.
  • When there are no traffic signals or officers on crosswalks, pedestrians have the right of way.
  • In places where there are no crosswalks, traffic signals, or signs, vehicles have the right of way.
  • Bear in mind also, that motor vehicles are not the only threat to people on foot, bicycles are also capable of causing serious injury to both pedestrian and rider.

Irrespective of who has right of way, drivers are required by law to take all reasonable care to avoid colliding with pedestrians; this does not however, absolve pedestrians of their responsibility to stay safe. When out walking, people should always be alert, look both ways before crossing the street, and never assume that a driver is paying attention, or is about to stop for them.

If you or someone you know has been injured in New York City in a pedestrian & motor vehicle accident, you will need to speak to New York personal injury attorneys as soon as possible. Our expert auto accident lawyers at Antin, Ehrlich, and Epstein LLP will determine whether you are eligible for compensation. Contact us today on 917-730-7151 to schedule a free, no obligation, consultation.