Whether you were born and raised in New York or have come to Staten Island to live as an adult, you're likely well aware of how busy and crowded roadways and sidewalks can be on any given day. You may be among those residents who try to choose walking as a preferred means of transportation as often as possible. After all, studies show walking at a brisk pace is an easy way to increase your heart rate and fit aerobic exercise into your daily routine.
If you travel Staten Island on foot, you'll want to first gain clear understanding of traffic laws (because, yes, they apply to pedestrians as well as motorists). You may also want to research safety tips to increase your chances of safely reaching your destination.
Safety tips for walkers and drivers alike
Whether you and your family enjoy taking evening strolls around your neighborhood together, or you are the designated lunch-getter at work who takes your colleagues' orders and picks up food at local diners near your workplace, any time you travel on foot, you're at risk for injury. The following ideas may help keep you safe while navigating crosswalks or other New York roads as a pedestrian:
- While walking on sidewalks or roadways, you're obligated to adhere to any posted traffic signs or signals in the area. This means, if a pedestrian light is glowing red for "Don't walk," but you cross the street anyway because you don't see any vehicles heading your way, if a car comes along and hits you, you may be partially liable for your own injuries.
- A key factor to pedestrian safety is alertness. Nowadays, it's trendy to stroll along while scrolling along on a cellphone or other electronic device; however, it is not safe, especially if you're walking in an area heavily laden with motor vehicle traffic.
- Just because you see a driver, doesn't mean he or she sees you. Never assume that you are visible to a passing motorist. If possible, it often helps to make eye contact with passing motorists to confirm that they know you're there.
- Any time you walk near driveways, entrances or exits to parking lots or intersections, you are at great risk for injury. If you're especially cautious in such areas, you may be able to avoid a collision.
Even if you are mindful of the potential dangers roadways pose for pedestrians, there's not much you can do about another person's actions. You may be alert and well aware of your own surroundings, but that doesn't mean every driver passing by is equally cautious. When you least expect it, motorist negligence can cause great harm and may take you from walking down a sidewalk one minute to riding to a hospital in the back of an ambulance the next.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, the days and weeks that follow an accident may be some of the most challenging you'll ever experience. The financial burdens associated with your after-accident care can add to the suffering you already have from your physical injuries. Other injured pedestrians in the past have sought restitution in court by filing claims against negligent drivers and using monies provided through court-awarded compensation to offset accident-related expenses.