As a pedestrian, sidewalks and crosswalks make you feel safe. Yet, thousands of pedestrian knockdown accidents happen every year. Many accidents result in somewhat minor injuries, but some resulting in serious injury or death. So while you may feel safe walking around the city, you should know that as long as vehicles travel the roads, you are not. However, pedestrian knockdown accidents don’t just happen, there are a number of factors that make one more at risk.
Pedestrians can legally cross at any intersection even if there is not a marked crosswalk. While it is within their right, it is significantly more dangerous. Vehicles might not be paying attention when stopping or starting at these areas and accidentally knock down a pedestrian. However, it has been found that marked crosswalks not at a traffic light are the most dangerous because often cars have no obligation to stop and pedestrians often see a marked crosswalk as automatically safe and pay less attention.
Cars aren’t the only vehicles responsible for pedestrian knockdown accidents. Often cyclists are just as guilty. You could be walking down the sidewalk when a cyclists zips by from behind. In shock, you may just to the side, trip, and fall. While riding a bicycle on the sidewalk is prohibited in some neighborhoods and cities, it is not strictly prohibited. Usually we trust the cyclists call out when passing or ride at a safe speed, but that is not always the case.
You know what they say, it often takes two people to make an accident. Pedestrians are responsible for using both their eyes and their ears when safely walking. When those sense are compromised by cell phones, ear phones, or even by quieter electronic or hybrid cars on the roads, knockdown accidents are more likely. This is why it is recommended to remove head phones and put down your cell phone when crossing the street or put yourself at higher risk for an accident. Yet, even if you’re checking your phone or listening to music, this doesn’t make the vehicle driver any less negligent if you had the right of way.
Pedestrian knockdown accidents for those with otherwise impaired senses are often common when cars need to make left turns and pedestrians are often focused on other areas of the road or not on the road at all. Despite this, the pedestrian will still have the right of way in these incidents.
Those who get behind the wheel after a few drinks are not only breaking the law, but increasing the risk of accidents. That being said, even if you choose to walk home while slightly intoxicated, you are still at an increased risk. This is often why pedestrian knockdown accidents are much higher on nights and weekends as many young people decide to walk home from a neighborhood bar. Even when walking, while not necessarily doing anything illegal, your judgement is impaired and this can lead to more risky behavior that can contribute to a knockdown accident.
In most cases of pedestrian knockdown accidents, a pedestrian’s behavior may have contributed to the situation, but the vehicle driver still had the responsibility to respect the pedestrian’s right of way. This means if you were injured as the pedestrian in this sort of knockdown accidents, often you can receive compensation for your injuries from the driver.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian knockdown accident in the New York City area, contact us today. Let Frekhtman & Associates put our years of legal experience to work for you.