Sharing the road: 4 safety tips for New York pedestrians

Pedestrian accidents may have devastating consequences, including serious injuries or death, but there are things people can do to improve their safety.

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles reports that there were 14,952 pedestrian accidents across the state in 2014 alone. Often, such collisions result in serious injuries or death for pedestrians because they lack any exterior protection from the force and impact of the vehicle. While not all pedestrian-involved crashes are preventable, there is a number of things people can do when they are walking to improve their safety.

Be visible to drivers

Sometimes, pedestrian accidents occur because motorists do not see pedestrians. In order to help being struck by a vehicle, people should take steps to increase their visibility if they are going to be walking. For example, they should wear brightly colored clothes during the day. At night, it is recommended that people carry a flashlight and wear lightly colored or reflective clothing.

Refrain from drinking and walking

Most people know that drinking alcohol is risky for drivers. However, it is also hazardous for pedestrians. The AAA reports that alcohol is involved in nearly half of all pedestrian collisions that result in the death of a pedestrian. Therefore, people are advised not to walk if they have been drinking. This is because alcohol may impair their reflexes and decision-making, among causing other dangerous effects.

Obey the traffic rules

It is important for pedestrians to be familiar with the traffic signals, signs and rules in the areas where they are walking. This may help them anticipate what motorists will do, which may reduce the chances of them being struck by a vehicle. New York state law requires drivers to yield to pedestrians in situations when there is no signal. However, people should still use caution and never assume that motorists are going to give them the right of way.

Avoid distractions

If people are looking down at their phone or are otherwise engaged in distracting behaviors, they may not notice what is going on around them. Consequently, they may not take action to evade hazardous situations that may arise on the road. In order to help avoid some pedestrian accidents, it is suggested that people focus on where they are walking and the vehicles they are sharing the road with.

Working with a legal representative

When people in New York are struck by vehicles, they often suffer serious injuries. As a result, they may need medical treatment and time off of work to recover. For many, this leads to unexpected medical bills and lost income. Therefore, it may benefit those who have been injured in pedestrian collisions to consult with an attorney. A lawyer may help them understand their rights and explain their options for seeking financial compensation for their losses.