Merely walking in New York City is a dangerous endeavor. While you would think that motorists in our city would be accustomed to operating their vehicles around pedestrians, the fact of the matter is that they far too often act negligently behind the wheel, sometimes causing them to miss seeing pedestrians until it’s too late. As a result, thousands of pedestrians are struck each year, and many of these victims are left with serious injuries that may require long-term care. Making matters worse is the fact that these innocent and unsuspecting individuals often lose wages due to missed work and have to find a way to cope with they physical and emotional pain unfairly thrust upon them.
- Walk on the sidewalk, if possible: Although they should, many motorists fail to recognize pedestrians when they are walking anywhere but a sidewalk. This means that those who are walking alongside traffic may be at an increased risk of being struck. Of course, this can be problematic when sidewalks are closed due to construction. If this is the case, you should try to walk against traffic while staying as far away from it as possible.
- Be as predictable as possible: Again, motorists aren’t as diligent in looking out for pedestrians as they should be. Therefore, they don’t expect them to take unpredictable actions. Changing directions suddenly, shooting out into traffic, and failing to abide by traffic signals can all take a motorist by surprise, thereby causing a pedestrian accident.
- Cross at intersections, crosswalks, and other well-lit areas: This tip goes hand-in-hand with predictability. Drivers don’t expect to see pedestrians in the street anywhere other than a crosswalk or intersection, and a lot of times they even struggle with that. Also, when you do cross the street, try to wait until there is a lull in traffic so that you’re not misgauging the speed of oncoming traffic.
- Make eye contact: You shouldn’t just assume that motorists see you. Instead, you should try to make eye contact with any oncoming drivers to ensure that they see you. It’s a good idea to avoid crossing the street if you can’t make eye contact.
- Watch for entering traffic: Even if you are sure that oncoming traffic sees you and you’re entering the roadway in a predictable fashion, you shouldn’t neglect entering traffic. Cars that are turning at an intersection, pulling out of parking garages, or exiting parking lots and driveways, strike a lot of pedestrians. To be as safe as possible, you’ll want to be extra-diligent in checking your surroundings.
As a pedestrian, you really shouldn’t have to take these extra precautions, but negligent driving continues to plague our city. Worse yet is the fact that the city seems to be slow in implementing strategies that protect pedestrians from these dangerous drivers.
If you or a loved one have been hurt in a pedestrian accident, then the tips identified above were either too inadequate or they come too late. You’re probably feeling anger at the driver who hit you and concern for your physical, emotional, and financial future. As stressful as that can be, the good news is that you’ll likely have legal recourse, especially if you followed the tips above and were still struck. If you succeed on a personal injury lawsuit, then you might be able to recover the compensation you need to pay for your medical care, recoup your lost wages, and provide you with the financial stability that is needed to allow you to focus on your recovery.
Dealing with pedestrian accident cases aren’t always easy. In fact, drivers often make aggressive arguments as to why they think the pedestrian victim is at least partially to blame for the accident. Therefore, those who are dealing with the aftermath of a pedestrian accident may want to consider seeking out help from a legal professional who can help them build the strong case they need and deserve.