Thousands of New Yorkers take to the street every day to get to work or school, to visit friends and family, or for entertainment. While this is a way of life for some people and can provide exercise and a cost-efficient way of getting around, it can also be dangerous.
How dangerous is being a pedestrian in New York?
The statistics are alarming. About 300 pedestrians are killed each year in accidents. Another 15,000 are injured. There are more than 3,000 hospitalizations each year caused by pedestrian accidents. Those who are harmed in these wrecks can face extensive injuries, including brain, back and neck injuries, broken bones, severe lacerations, and damage to tendons and ligaments. This harm can have significant long-term effects when it comes to pain and suffering as well as financial losses in the form of medical expenses and lost wages.
How do pedestrian accidents occur?
There are a lot of ways that pedestrian accidents occur. Many of them happen because drivers do the following:
- Fail to yield at crosswalks and interactions as required by law
- Block crosswalks when stopped at an intersection, which may require a pedestrian to walk out into traffic in order to cross the street
- Drive too fast in pedestrian-heavy areas
- Fail to recognize the presence of pedestrians when making a turn
- Run a red a light
- Fail to recognize that stopped vehicles may be halted to let a pedestrian cross the street
- Engage in distracted driving, such as texting and driving
- Neglect to share the road with those who may be walking alongside it
These are just some of the ways that motorists can pose a threat to pedestrians. But if you regularly walk, then you can’t control the action of these drivers. So, what can you do?
Protecting yourself as a pedestrian
As a pedestrian, there are some steps that you can take to protect yourself from a serious accident. Those preventative measures include:
- Use designated crosswalks when crossing the street
- Be diligent in ensuring that no vehicles are coming or turning onto the street before stepping onto the road
- Use sidewalks when available
- If a sidewalk is not available, then walk so that you can see oncoming traffic
- Wear light-colored and reflective clothing at night so that motorists can see you more easily
- Stay attentive when crossing the street so that you can see any vehicle that may be speeding your way, which means avoid doing things like texting while crossing the street
- Don’t make sudden movements out into the street
If you can follow some of these actions, then you’ll decrease the likelihood that you’ll be involved in a serious pedestrian accident.
What if you’ve already been hurt in one of these wrecks?
If you’ve already been injured in a pedestrian accident, then you’re probably worried about how you’re going to get by as you focus on your recovery. This is where a personal injury lawsuit may prove beneficial.
In order to succeed on one of these claims, though, you’ll have to present evidence to support your position, including demonstrating the extent of your injuries. It can be a grueling process, and one where a seemingly minor misstep can be enormously costly to your recovery.
That’s why if you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident then now may be the time for you to discuss your circumstances with an experienced personal injury attorney. One of these lawyers may be able to help you build the legal claim that you need to achieve the successful outcome you deserve.