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Walking Safety in New York City

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2017 | Firm News

NEW YORK. In New York City, one of the most popular ways to get around is by walking. New York is a pedestrian city. According to the New York State Department of Transportation and Health, there were 3,672 pedestrian accidents in New York in 2015. New York City government organizations are working to redesign city streets to make them safer for walking. In fact, New York City is striving to put pedestrians first by lowering speed limits, redesigning crosswalks, and by considering the ways that pedestrians use the city.

But, what can you do as a pedestrian to keep yourself safe while walking in New York City? Pedestrians can increase their safety by walking at crosswalks and by obeying crossing signals. While pedestrians always have the right of way when they are in a crosswalk, walkers in New York should watch for cars turning left. Left turning vehicles have the green light just as pedestrians have the walk sign. While drivers turning left should be watching for pedestrians, some may not see a pedestrian in time.

Another danger facing pedestrians in New York is distracted walking. We hear quite a bit about distracted driving, but more and more pedestrians are using their phones to play music, respond to texts, and to answer calls. When walking, and especially when crossing the street, it is safest to put your phone away and focus on crossing and walking safely. In fact, according to the New York Times, in Honolulu, pedestrians can be ticketed for looking at electronic devices while crossing the street. While Honolulu is believed to be the first city to make distracted walking a ticketable offense, other cities may follow suit if the law proves beneficial.

The New York Times notes that pedestrian deaths have gone up since the 90s. Many attribute this increase to the use of mobile phones. Not only do pedestrians put themselves in danger, but drivers may also be putting pedestrians in danger if they use their phones while driving. While drivers may be watching for other cars when multitasking, they may not have sufficient time to see a pedestrian in the street. In the U.S. as a whole, there were nearly 6,000 pedestrian deaths in 2016.

Studies have found that people who text while walking may be more likely to jaywalk and more likely to not look both ways before crossing the street. Distracted pedestrians may also take longer to cross the street. In fact, some cities have taken to putting up signs to prevent pedestrians from using their phones in certain areas.

Unfortunately, many pedestrian accidents in New York are due to the negligence or neglect of another driver. Distracted driving remains among the biggest risks New York City pedestrians face. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a pedestrian accident, consider speaking to Antin, Ehrlich, & Epstein, L.L.P., injury lawyers in New York. Our firm can review the facts of your case, review your losses and expenses, and help you fight for the maximum possible recovery under the law. Visit us today at to learn more.