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Preventing Pedestrian Accidents in New York

In New York City alone, more than 140 pedestrians are killed in traffic accidents every year. More pedestrians are killed in accidents in the city than motorists and passengers. While city and state-wide efforts to reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths may help, it's up to drivers and pedestrians to reduce accidents. The following are the most important tips to avoid these often fatal or life-changing crashes.

Use Marked Crosswalks

It's always safest to cross at marked crosswalks, even if you do not see cars coming. Drivers expect to see pedestrians on crosswalks and are trained to check before driving through. It can be very difficult for a driver to spot you crossing where they do not expect, especially at night.

Always Check Crosswalks Before Proceeding

As a driver, it's important to remain vigilant for pedestrians. Before proceeding through a crosswalk, look both ways and verify that no one is walking or preparing to walk across the street.

Put Down the Phone

Phone use by drivers and pedestrians can both lead to accidents. As a pedestrian, walking in a parking lot or crosswalk while looking down at a phone can be a recipe for disaster. Distracted driving -- most often in the form of texting or other phone use -- is also a leading cause of traffic accidents in New York.

Pay Attention to Stoplights and Traffic

Pedestrians should always pay attention to signals and painted street signs. Only cross the street when you have the proper signal. Don't try to rush across the street when the light is changing from "walk" to "stop." While crossing, keep an eye on traffic. Look for drivers who may be speeding, distracted, or showing signs they are not going to stop at a light or stop sign.

Be Careful with Alcohol Use

The dangers of drinking and driving are well known, but many pedestrians are unaware that they may be at the same risk when walking while intoxicated. More than one-third of pedestrians killed each year in the United States exceed the legal alcohol limit for driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher. If you have been drinking, walk with a friend or call someone for a ride home.

Make Sure You're Visible

Pedestrians should take steps to ensure drivers can see them, especially at night. If you are walking across a crosswalk at night while wearing black, a driver may not see you until it's too late. Wear reflective or bright clothing at night and carry a flashlight.

These tips can help you be a safer pedestrian and driver. Unfortunately, not all pedestrian accidents can be avoided. If you have been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, a New York personal injury attorney can help you explore your legal rights. Contact Levine and Wiss today for a free consultation to review your case.