GETTING AROUND TOWN SAFELY ON FOOT
Compared with other major cities around the world, like Paris with its circuitous arrondissements and Tokyo with its bewildering maze of themed districts, New York City, especially the borough of Manhattan, is a relatively easy place to navigate. For the most part, the avenues run north and south and the streets go east and west in numerical order. There are exceptions, like Greenwich Village and SoHo, which are arranged more like neighborhoods in European cities with winding sidewalks that have names instead of numbers. But for the most part, finding your way around town is a no-brainer, even for first-time visitors.
There is one thing, however, that isn’t easy for pedestrians and is true for just about every avenue and street in New York City no matter where you might be walking at any hour of the day. The traffic is intense! And particularly for the uninitiated, crossing from one side of the street to the other can be an unnerving, and sometimes even a dangerous, experience for both locals and tourists alike.
Not only do hundreds-of-thousands of cars clog the city’s transportation arteries daily, but so does every other form of motor and human-powered vehicle known to man including trucks, buses, taxis, motorcycles, mopeds, scooters, bicycles, skateboards and rollerblades. (We’ve probably left out a few).
With so many different modes of transportation crowding – and often speeding along — New York City streets, the top New York City pedestrian auto, truck and bus accident law firm of Dankner Milstein, P.C. has some useful advice for anyone on foot in the Big Apple who is trying to get from point A to point B safely.
DMR LAWYERS TWELVE RULES OF THE ROAD FOR PEDESTRIANS
- Never assume that drivers see you.
On the street, anything from lampposts, newsstands, and double-parked vehicles can cause blind spots and/or obscure the driver’s view.
- Don’t jaywalk or cross the street between parked cars.
When you walk between parked cars into traffic, you might not be visible to drivers. Walk defensively. Cross at the corner, and wait until the traffic signal indicates you can go.
- Stand back as the bus gets closer.
People’s natural response may be to get nearer to the curb as your bus comes into view. You are much safer moving a few steps back until the bus comes to a complete stop.
- Don’t wear ear phones when walking in the city.
What you can’t hear you might also not be able see in time.
- Walk on sidewalks closer to buildings not curbs and against oncoming traffic.
- Assume drivers think yellow means speed up and go.
- Don’t start to cross a crosswalk if the walk signal has changed to a countdown.
These are lighted signs on lampposts that typically countdown from 25-to-0 seconds.
- Don’t wear dark clothing at night.
- Be particularly careful when walking in inclement weather.
- Never text when crossing the street.
- Look both ways before crossing the street.
And, keep periodically looking both ways until you are safely on the other side of the street.
12. Don’t assume someone will stop.
“Although some of these safety tips appear to be common sense,” Jay Dankner, one of the law firm’s partners said, “sadly enough they are often ignored and lead to tragic accidents that not only affect the individual, but all those around them.
“In cases involving pedestrian knockdowns and runovers by motorists,” Dankner added, “ where the law dictates that a driver must see what’s there to be seen, the law also imposes a requirement on the pedestrian to be aware of their surroundings and avoid placing themselves in a dangerous situation.”
The lawyers at Dankner Milstein, PC hope you find these suggestions helpful. We wish you all safe travels around this great city.