Pedestrian Safety Tips Everyone Should Read

Long Island Pedestrian Cross Walks

There were more than 3,600 pedestrian accidents in 2015 in New York alone, according to the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee reports that about 300 pedestrian fatalities occur annually.  A ground-breaking pedestrian safety campaign spearheaded by NYSDOT, the New York State Department of Health, and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee could help reduce this number.

While engineering and enforcement will play a big role in the initiative, pedestrian education is also key. Knowing how to protect yourself when you’re on foot is important. According to the campaign, some of the most important pedestrian safety tips include:

Always ensure drivers can see you.

Many pedestrian accidents occur simply because the driver fails to see the pedestrian. In order to ensure you are visible to drivers:

  • Always wear bright clothing. At night, carry a flashlight and/or wear clothing with reflective materials.
  • Always make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them; some drivers may misjudge your intentions or forget to check for pedestrians before turning.

Take the right precautions before crossing the street.

The great majority of drivers who collide with pedestrians do so in intersections, reports the NYSDOT. Only rarely do pedestrians walking down a sidewalk suffer injuries. For this reason, it is particularly important to take proper precautions before stepping out into the street. Tips include:

  • Cross only at marked crosswalks when possible.
  • Obey all pedestrian signals or pay attention to traffic signals.
  • Look both ways — left, right, and left again — before stepping off the sidewalk.
  • Never cross the street distracted by a cell phone.
  • Be especially wary of drivers turning at a green light or making a right turn at a red light.
  • Ensure all lanes are clear before crossing.
  • Never assume a driver will stop for you, even in a crosswalk.

Avoid habits that put you in danger.

Some behaviors increase your risk of being in a pedestrian accident. To avoid these behaviors, remember the following:

  • Walk on the sidewalk when possible; always walk facing traffic.
  • Drunk walking can be just as dangerous for you as drunk driving; call a cab instead.
  • Do not assume a driver sees you and will stop. This is true even if the driver in the adjacent lane saw you; attempt to make eye contact with all drivers when crossing.
  • Do not walk simply because you have a pedestrian signal, look both ways as well.
  • Pay careful attention to cars backing out of parking spaces or driveways.
  • If you are walking with friends, do not allow them to distract you.

While the organizations behind this new campaign hope their initiative greatly reduces the number of pedestrian accidents in Long Island, accidents still happen.

If you find yourself facing serious injuries after this type of crash, the Long Island personal injury attorneys at Goldstein and Bashner may be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries. Contact us today at 516-222-4000 to learn more.

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