New York Auto Accident Lawyers Discuss Pedestrian Injuries & Safety Tips
New York Pedestrian Injuries & Safety Tips
First responders have many important yet unpleasant tasks to handle on a daily basis. Perhaps one of the hardest is seeing the terrible toll pedestrians suffer after being hit by careless motorists. Without the protection of a vehicle wrapped around them, many pedestrians suffer traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, severe lacerations, and various head injuries when hit by cars, trucks or buses.
Recent New York State Department of Motor Vehicle accident statistics published online indicate that there were 269 fatal pedestrian/motor crashes reported to the police in 2014. Equally disturbing were the more than 14,000 non-fatal personal injury accidents that same year. In addition, well over 18,000 passengers suffered some type of physical or emotional trauma as a result of being in these vehicle crashes. And more than 14,900 pedestrians were injured.
The human toll is almost beyond description in terms of the many losses families suffer due to these accidents. Likewise, countless work days are lost along with critically needed income that may or may not be recoverable later.
Here are some general safety tips provided by our state government and others that may help minimize your chances of being hurt in a serious or potentially fatal New York pedestrian accident.
Keeping Safe While Walking New York’s Streets
As your New York personal injury attorney will tell you, it’s critical to follow each and every one of the following safety guidelines to try and remain unharmed as a pedestrian.
- Only cross at marked intersections, never jaywalk. Your chances of being seen by motorists are best under these circumstances;
- Wear bright or fully visible – even retroreflective — materials. Pedestrians should never just blend in with their surroundings;
- Never wear any type of headphones or earplugs. When you do this, you’re blocking out the very last warning sounds you might hear prior to being hit or killed;
- Only cross streets in well-lit areas – and carry a flashlight. Failing to follow this advice greatly increases your chances of remaining invisible to drivers;
- Make eye contact with drivers while crossing streets. When you do this, they’re more likely to realize your presence and avoid making sudden, dangerous moves in their vehicles;
- Walk on sidewalks; when none are available, walk facing traffic. You’ve got to take every defensive step you can to keep motorists away from you – and aware of your presence;
- NEVER just rely on pedestrian signals or various traffic lights. Almost everyone is in a big hurry in this world. Some drivers may even try to judge how quickly they can dart out into an intersection, assuming they can just miss you while continuing on their way;
- Don’t use your cell phone while walking. Your distraction level will rise greatly and you’ll be far less likely to notice approaching vehicles or other dangers.
When Do Most New York Pedestrian/Motorists Accidents Take Place?
As you might guess, the driving rush hours to and from work can quickly prove deadly for pedestrians. New York State Department of Motor Vehicle accident statistics reveal that the majority of these crashes take place during the late afternoon and early evening hours between 3pm and 6 pm. This means that you should avoid being a pedestrian – if at all possible – between those hours, possibly hopping on some form of public transportation instead.
Of course, early evening hours between 6pm and 9pm are also quite dangerous. Close to 500 people lost their lives on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday nights back in 2014. Perhaps because everyone is tired or their nerves are frayed, it’s especially dangerous to be a New York pedestrian on Friday evenings between 6pm and 9pm.
Although you can still suffer serious harm while walking somewhere during the work week noon hour, it’s a bit safer than the evening rush hours. Likewise, early morning rush hours, when everyone is a bit more alert and refreshed can still prove dangerous to pedestrians – but they’re only about 2/3rds as dangerous as the evening rush hours.
Always remember that when walking as a pedestrian you should remain on the sidewalks, as far from the curbs as possible. Try to resist the temptation to visit with others since all such distractions can make you fail to hear the sounds of a car, truck or bus hitting the brakes or otherwise veering dangerously close to you. Remember that statistics show that you should never expect vehicles to stop for you – even when it’s clearly their duty to yield the right of way. Also, keep in mind that accidents are far more likely when the streets are slippery.
Do try to carry a fully charged (yet turned off) cell phone with you since too often strangers either fail to notice when someone is injured – or just choose to avoid becoming involved by calling for help.
Should you or someone close to you suffer a serious pedestrian accident, be sure to get the medical help you need – and then call your New York personal injury attorney for his help and advice.