Pedestrian Street Crossing Dangers

Crossing the street can be dangerous to your health, and the wider the street, the more dangerous it is. Roads such as Turnpikes or Boulevards that have several lanes of moving traffic can be especially dangerous to cross. Hempstead Turnpike in Nassau County and Queens Boulevard in Queens County are well known for their high fatality rate. One of the biggest dangers is the traffic light changing color while the pedestrian is still crossing. Because of the wideness of these streets, a pedestrian who starts out with a green light or a walk sign often is unable to make it fully across the street before the light turns red. Vehicles seeing a green light for themselves will then often barrel ahead without regard, or perhaps not seeing, pedestrians. To combat this know problem Nassau County recently announced that on Hempstead Turnpike they have been increasing the times allotted for crossing the street at many intersections, to allow pedestrians a greater chance of crossing before the light changes. Another major problem is cars which are turning at an intersections and not yielding to pedestrians. It is bad enough that cars turning with green lights often due not yield, but motorists who are turning right on red lights are rarely even coming to a stop before making their turn. If it is dangerous to cross at the intersection, it is even more dangerous to cross mid-block. Due to the long distances between crosswalks on some major roads some pedestrians decide to cross mid-block. Because a motorist might not expect to encounter a pedestrian mid-block, and may be going at full speed, a mid-block crossing is dangerous. A Nassau County study revealed that more than 59% of pedestrian fatalities came from pedestrians crossing in the middle of the block. A pedestrian crossing in the crosswalk with the light has the right of way. Whereas, in the middle of the block the car has a right of way. However, a motorist has a duty to see what their is to be seen, and avoid striking pedestrians, regardless of who has the right of way. To be as safe as possible always cross at the intersection with the light. If there is a button to push for the walk sign, make sure you push it, such may increase the time for the traffic light in your favor, giving you more time to safely cross. Never assume that a motorist sees you, if possible try and make eye contact so you know they saw you. A collision between a motor vehicle and a pedestrian can be fatal for pedestrian. Be careful out there. If you are struck by a car, truck, or other motor vehicle, you should contact a lawyer who is experienced in handling motor vehicle cases, including pedestrian accidents. Zalman Schnurman & Miner is a New York law firm who is experienced in handling injury cases involving pedestrians struck by cars, trucks and other motor vehicles. For a free consultation call 1-800-LAWLINE (1-800-549-5463).

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