According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), pedestrian accidents account for 15 percent of all accidents that occur with a vehicle. Overall, 70,000 pedestrian accidents are reported each year, with over 4,000 of these accidents resulting in death.
In a city like New York's Brooklyn, where there is a heavy pedestrian population, these statistics can be frightening. In the Big Apple and it's surrounding boroughs have always advocated the practice of experiencing the city on foot is often preferable for residents and visitors alike because there is so much to do and see. An excellent and extensive city transit system and the health benefits of traveling by foot also has made walking a preferred form of transportation in Brooklyn and throughout the NYC.
Pedestrians need to place their safety as a priority when they are out and about. Avoiding accidents with vehicles, scooters, skateboarders and bicyclists is a responsibility for both parties. To protect themselves, pedestrians in Brooklyn or any other urban environment should follow these safety guidelines.
• Always cross at the corner and with the light. You do not want to dart out into traffic from between two parked cars. Brooklyn cops won't hesitate to to issue a citation for jaywalking.
• Make sure that you observe traffic before crossing a smaller road. If the car looks like it may be coming too fast, wait.
• Watch for turning cars. The CDC has reported that a majority of U.S. pedestrian accidents occur when a car is turning and does not see someone at the crosswalks.
• Wear light colored clothes in the evening or a reflective safety vest if you are out walking or carry a flashlight. Cars or other vehicles need to be able to see you.
• Don't be presumptuous about having the right of way. In Brooklyn, law states pedestrians are supposed to have it in all situations as long as traffic control signals are obeyed first. But this law is, unfortunately, often loosely followed and one distracted driver could reek disaster on an unsuspecting walker. It is urban legend that cars always have to stop for pedestrians.
What to Do If You Are Injured as A Pedestrian
The first thing that you will need to do if you are injured in a pedestrian accident is call the police and file a report. Without a police report of the incidence you cannot make a claim for compensation. You should immediately seek medical care at that time. It is important to seek a medical evaluation, even if you believe that the injuries are minor. In Brooklyn there are a variety of top medical facilities such as the Brooklyn Hospital Center or the Beth Israel Medical Center. Head injuries, such as concussion, internal injuries, and neck and spine injuries can often be misleading at first, only to become catastrophic in a few days because there was not any immediate medical treatment.
Once you have your injuries managed, you will need to contact a personal injury attorney that is experienced and local. A Brooklyn lawyer will know best how things work in the city streets, local courthouses, and amongst officials. For Georgians, a personal injury Atlanta attorney might be the best choice of representation and for New Yorkers, it might be a Brooklyn accident attorney that you hire to help you file for compensation for your injuries, your lost wages, and any other financial losses you may have incurred as a result of this accident. If the injuries are severe, the attorney can also help you make a claim for future losses and continued medical care.
Does this mean that you should give up a stroll through Centennial Olympic Park or forego a walk through downtown to enjoy the shops and cafes? Absolutely not. While there is always a risk associated with being a pedestrian, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Make sure that you take the time to place your safety first, and enjoy everything that the area has to offer.
Formerly a Brooklyn resident in her younger years, Molly Pearce is now a southern author, artist, and mother who is all too familiar with the variety of reckless and aggressive motorists that can be found on the city streets. She learned more about pedestrians experiences and the best ways to handle it on the legal website of Stokes & Kopitsky, P.A., a personal injury Atlanta based law firm.