The holidays are associated with many things, from amazingly decorated trees to sales to spending precious time with friends and family. But one thing that is unfortunately associated with holidays in New York is injuries, especially to pedestrians.
In New York, pedestrians are everywhere. They’re often distracted, as well as drivers, which leads to more accidents. That’s why if you’re planning on doing some of your holiday shopping in the city, it’s a good idea to take note of what you can do to stay safe.
What Contributes to Pedestrian Injuries?
There are four main causes of injuries and deaths to pedestrians around the holidays. They are:
If someone on foot is struck at a speed of 20 miles per hour, then that is associated with a 10 percent chance of being fatally injured. If the speed is 40 miles per hour, then that’s an 80 percent chance of fatality. The speed of a car has a direct impact on the chances that a pedestrian will die from their injuries – and you’ve seen how fast cars zoom around the streets of New York.
Pedestrian injuries and fatalities also occur because of distractions. Drivers may be on electronic devices and may not see a pedestrian in order to yield to them.
Failure to Yield
Speaking of yielding, it’s yet another top reason for pedestrian accidents. It’s unfortunate that many people on foot in New York simply assume that a car will see them and stop, so they don’t pay attention to cars coming. Instead, they’ll walk out on a crosswalk even if cars have the green light. It’s vital to maintain situational awareness and look around, even if you do have the right of way on foot.
Drinking and Driving
It’s an unfortunate reality that the holiday season often brings more people who get behind the wheel when they’ve been drinking. Drunk driving kills many pedestrians each year – and it doesn’t help that those walking may be intoxicated, as well, even if they’re doing the right thing by not driving.
Pedestrian Safety Tips
If you are planning to do a lot of walking in New York this holiday season, and really any time of the year, then it’s vital to take precautions to stay safe. You should:
You should not walk in areas where pedestrians are not allowed. Always use sidewalks when you can, and cross streets only where it’s legal to cross.
Face the Traffic
When walking, it’s a good idea to face the traffic and walk against it if there isn’t a sidewalk available to use. This allows drivers to see you and act accordingly.
It’s a good idea to wear colors that make it easy for drivers to see you. Bright colors are recommended during the day, and, if you’re walking at night, wear reflective clothing or carry a light so that you can be seen.
It’s always a good idea when you’re on foot to stay aware of your surroundings. If a driver isn’t paying attention, then the attention you pay to the situation may be the difference between injury or safety. You cannot always count on a driver to do what they must on the road, so do what’s within your power to keep yourself safe.
Drugs and alcohol impair your ability to not only walk but to maintain awareness of your surroundings. As a pedestrian, you still need to make good choices about the amount of alcohol you drink and how it can impact your safety.