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Why is it dangerous to be a pedestrian in Manhattan?

Living in a large city like Manhattan comes with many conveniences within walking distance. Rather than trying to drive across town, the city is full of shops and restaurants to meet many of your needs. Even when you need to go somewhere a little farther, the subway is typically a short walk.

One of the challenges with walking is that motorists often overlook pedestrians. This year has already seen a spike in pedestrian deaths, with nearly 60 New Yorkers killed in traffic-related incidents, many of them pedestrians.

Here’s what you should know about the recent increases in pedestrian deaths in New York.

Drivers aren’t watching

In a recent study, distracted drivers were a factor in 36 percent of pedestrian accidents in New York. While driving in a large congested city comes with many distractions, it also means that pedestrians cannot always count on right-of-way rules to avoid an accident. In many of the fatal pedestrian accidents, the driver failed to yield to pedestrians.

When walking in Manhattan, you should make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them. Drivers may not see that someone is waiting to cross, or they may miss a traffic signal.

How dangerous is Manhattan?

The New York study showed that Manhattan had four times the pedestrian deaths or injuries per mile of street compared to the other four boroughs. However, 43 percent of the pedestrians killed in Manhattan were from other boroughs or outside New York City.

New York City as a whole is trying to cut down the number of pedestrian deaths with several initiatives to raise awareness among drivers and make pedestrians crosswalks safer.


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