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Tips for pedestrians navigating New York City streets

Residents of New York City are accustomed to walking its streets. In fact, less than half of all households even own a vehicle. But in a city of 8 million, drivers and pedestrians come in to contact far too often.

In fact, in the month of May, drivers injured 1,250 pedestrians, leaving seven dead. If you regularly navigate the streets of New York, here are a few tips to stay safe.

Look up (get off your phone)

Our smartphones have practically become an extension of our person. We use them almost involuntarily throughout the day. But, looking down at your phone can keep you from reacting in a timely manner to a change in traffic. While on the streets, try to keep you’re head, saving phone use for when you’re stationary and out of harm’s way.

Pick up your feet

The actual sidewalks in New York City are not always in the best condition. Cracks in the pavement, garbage on the street, construction site coverings, merchants and more await a dragging foot to slip up. In some circumstances, a trip and fall down the street could leave you with more than just skinned knees.

In areas that are especially populated or on crosswalks at busy intersections, a fall could lead to a more severe accident. Pick up your feet and monitor both the pavement and your path ahead to keep from taking an unexpected tumble.

Look both ways

It should go without saying that you should look both ways before crossing the street. But, once you get used to your daily commute, you may not even notice that you’ve stopped checking.

Worse yet, some drivers may not see you even when you’ve looked and had the right-of-way. By watching out for cars and anticipating their actions, you can avoid putting yourself in danger.

Stay out of the bike lane

Bicycles, e-scooters, hoverboards and other motorized vehicles can be a recipe for disaster if you cross paths with them unexpectedly. Try to always stay mindful of whether or not there is a bicycle path.

In addition to never walking in a bike path, it’s also a good idea to leave space next to the bike path open in case a cyclist needs to get out of the way of an opening car door.

Use crosswalks

Another tip that should go without saying is not to “j-walk.” That means using crosswalks to cross the streets instead of inventing your own path. Even on residential streets cab drivers are known to speed up in between stop signs. By using a designated crossing, you’ll increase your chances of being seen.

Follow traffic lights

New Yorkers are notorious for weaving around cars when traffic is backed up and crossing the street if the pathways in clear, regardless of whether the light is green. Getting into these habits is not only against the law, but it also makes you more likely to be involved in an accident. Always follow traffic laws by obeying street lights.

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