Driving in New York City can be a menacing task. In the city that never sleeps, people are always walking, driving, or riding somewhere; keeping the streets and sidewalks bustling 24/7. With all this activity going on day and night, there is an increased chance that a driver of a motor vehicle could crash, due to many of the common hazards that this lively metropolis presents.
Let’s face it – nobody wants to be in an accident. But whether you are in a car, a truck, on a bike or just walking the streets, collisions still happen in New York. The best way to avoid them is to be aware of your surroundings and know the situations in which an accident is most likely to occur. Here at Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP, our team understands the toll an accident can take on all parties involved. To help you drive safe and potentially avoid a fender bender, we compiled a list of some of the most common vehicle accident risks in New York.
When driving in New York, you must constantly be on the lookout for pedestrians. That does not mean watching for pedestrians at designated crosswalks only. Drivers of motor vehicles must be aware of people jaywalking in the street and not obeying crosswalk signals altogether. Basically, be on the lookout for pedestrians at all times!
Pedestrian accidents are very common in New York, and the driver of a motor vehicle may be held liable for any injury or death that occurs as a result, not matter if the pedestrian was at a designated crosswalk or not.
Bicycles make life in New York easier for many people, but an increasing number of bicyclists on the road will make it more likely that we’ll continue seeing bicycle accidents. Luckily, there are steps drivers can take to help reduce the risk of getting into an accident with a cyclist.
Drivers should slow down when they encounter cyclists, because reducing speed can drastically reduce the chance of accidents. Always respect the space of a cyclist and pass with care to avoid startling them.
It goes without saying that caution is key to avoiding bicycle accidents while driving.
DANGEROUS AND CROWDED INTERSECTIONS
When entering a busy or crowded intersection, the first step to staying safe is to stay focused and pay attention to your surroundings. You should decrease in speed and be prepared to stop in order to increase your margin of safety to avoid any mishaps.
Do not enter an intersection when the traffic is backed up on either side. You should not change lanes in the middle of an intersection, which is dangerous and illegal! Please wait until you pass the intersection to change lanes, and use extra caution in the intersection in case any vehicle ahead of you suddenly stops.
Motorists traveling through a construction zone are not personally responsible for making sure that the area is safe before they move forward. Traffic is required to be safely organized around construction zones to prevent accidents. Car accidents, become even more complicated when they occur in a construction zone.
When approaching a construction zone, slow down and keep an eye out for workers and other construction-related vehicles entering the street. If there are traffic directors, follow their instructions to ensure that you pass the site in a safe and orderly fashion.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT
No matter how safe we try to be, accidents still happen. Figuring out who is liable when an accident takes place can be a complex and difficult process.