The Danger Waiting at Intersections in New York City

The Danger Waiting at Intersections in New York City

For pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists, intersections are a dangerous place to be in New York City.Constantly in motion, intersections are places where multiple transportation modes meet, and do not necessarily safely mingle.

Depending on the borough, the danger of a traffic accident rises and falls.In 2015, Brooklyn was the most dangerous place to be for pedestrians and bicyclists, followed by Queens.For motorists in 2015, Queens was tops for motorist injuries and fatalities.

Looking at just Manhattan in just the month of February 2018, a few of the more dangerous intersections include:

  • Bowery and Canal, 10 collisions, 19 people involved
  • Bowery and Delancey, 6 collisions, 12 individuals involved
  • Bowery and Kenmare, Canal Street and Green Street, both with 5 collisions, involving 20 people total
  • Murray Street and West Street, 4 collisions, 9 people involved

In that one month in New York City, 201 cyclists and 956 pedestrians were injured, while 2,805 motorists and their passengers suffered injury.During the same month, 15 more people died in these collisions.Overall, the Police Department for the City of New York (NYPD) notes that the leading contributing factors to injury and fatal collisions for that month were:

  • Driver inattention and distraction
  • Following too closely
  • Failure to yield right-of-way
  • Backing unsafely
  • Passing or improper lane use
  • Passing too closely

In intersections, or on the road, lack of attention and distracted driving injure people every day. For bicyclists and pedestrians, left-hand turns made by motorists who are not paying attention are also particularly dangerous.

Left-hand turn danger in NYC intersections

According to the New York Department of Transportation (DOT), “all left turn pedestrian and bicyclist injuries occurred at just 18% of NYC’s 39,000 intersections.”The DOT also identifies other features of left-hand turn collisions in City intersections, including:

  • Approximately 80 percent of injuries suffered by pedestrians and cyclists due to left-turns occur at signalized intersections.Most of the collisions involve a passenger vehicle.
  • Left-hand turns are dangerous because there is a wide turning radius that must be travelled in a limited amount of time.Motorists increase speed to traverse the intersection within the time available.
  • Pedestrians or cyclists can momentarily disappear from view as a motorist moves through their left-hand turn.
  • Pressure from vehicles behind and the signal in front of a motorist increase the attention and skill needed to execute a left turn.Drivers paying attention to tasks and not their environment are more likely to collide with an unseen pedestrian or bicyclist.
  • In addition to signaled intersections, more injuries from left-hand turn collisions involve a minor to major approach—meaning a car is turning from a one-way street onto a two-way street.
  • The gender of pedestrians and bicyclists injured or killed in left-hand turn collisions is about the same.In all intersection collisions though, crashes are more likely to involve male cyclists or pedestrians who fail to yield, cross against a signal or outside of a crosswalk, or walk or ride out from behind a parked car.

Anywhere in New York City is dangerous for pedestrians, bicyclists, or motorists.Higher use of transportation corridors requires consistent vigilance regardless of how you are traveling.

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Serving New York City and surrounding boroughs, Robinson & Yablon, P.C. has decades of successful experience protecting the rights of injured clients and obtaining maximum compensation on their behalf.Contact us or call (646) 832-2853 today.

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