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Crosswalks Can be Dangerous for Pedestrians

October 13, 2021
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As of July 2021, 63 people have lost their lives to pedestrian accidents in NYC, and 3,241 pedestrians have been injured. Oddly enough, crosswalks could pose serious problems for pedestrians, even if they have the right-of-way. According to the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT), most pedestrian collisions happen when pedestrians are crossing the street.

Dangerous crosswalks could expose people to the risk of injury, ranging from mild to life-changing injuries. Unfortunately, most injured pedestrians suffer serious injuries because they simply do not have the same protection as people in cars, motorcycles, or even bicycles. Likewise, pedestrians might be lured into walking on crosswalks without recognizing the potential danger in its maintenance or design. But what really makes crosswalks hazardous to pedestrians?

Inadequate Visibility

Some crosswalks pose dangers to pedestrians due to poor or insufficient visibility on or around the crosswalk. Visibility might be influenced by various factors, which could include inadequate lighting or poor lighting design, blocked sightlines due to buildings, signs, or overgrown trees covering the crosswalk entry, and if the crosswalk was on a road with a steep downward or upward slope.

Crosswalk Design Issues

The design of crosswalks should consider their specific surroundings and environment. For instance, if a crosswalk was built on a downward sloping street, the designers should have considered relevant speed control measures to ensure that approaching motorists would be forced to slow down. Various environmental and human concerns should be taken into consideration when designing crosswalks to ensure that they’re safe for pedestrians and other road users.

Faulty Traffic Control Signals

Not every crosswalk needs extra traffic signals or signage, like a light that pedestrians can turn on to notify approaching motorists of the pedestrian’s presence. But when signals like these are implemented, pedestrians will naturally come to depend on them to help ensure a safer and more predictable crossing experience. So if the pedestrian light, for example, is not regularly maintained, such that it’s not frequently checked for defects or replaced or repaired when there’s a defect, then the light could be more hazardous than helpful.

Insufficient Traffic Control Measures

Sufficient traffic control measures must always be implemented in crosswalks. It’s simply not enough to paint the crosswalk without taking into account where exactly it is located. For instance, if the crosswalk is located in a roadway that is regularly exposed to high traffic and speedy motorists, then it should feature ample traffic control measures, which can include extra signs, more strategically placed lighting, and speed bumps, among others, to reduce the risk of pedestrian accidents.

Talk to an Experienced NYC Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Now

A lot of factors could impact liability for crosswalk pedestrian crashes. Fortunately, if you were injured or a loved one was killed in a crosswalk accident, you recover financial compensation from the at-fault motorist and/or the entity that maintains, designed, or manages the crosswalk where the accident occurred.

Speak to one of our NYC pedestrian accident lawyers here at Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman P.C. to find out who you could hold liable for the accident and learn more about the best legal recourse for your case. Contact us online or call 212-285-3300 to arrange your free case consultation with our skilled NYC pedestrian accident lawyer.


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