A pedestrian and bicyclist accident can result in catastrophic injuries because victims literally have no protection when a vehicle strikes them.

There are a number precautions drivers should take to avoid such accidents.

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) provides safety guidelines to help drivers know when they should be on alert. NY Traffic laws require drivers to use caution to avoid collisions.

Ways to Avoid a Pedestrian and Bicyclist Accident

Watch out for pedestrians when in the following areas or situations:

  • Schools
  • Bus stops
  • Playgrounds
  • Parks
  • Around ice cream trucks

Backing Up

When leaving a driveway, get out of your vehicle and check behind it before backing out. Do not rely on mirrors or looking out back windows.

Making Turns

When making turns, check for pedestrians on your right and left. Pedestrians should walk so they face the traffic in the lane nearest them.

Intersections

Pedestrians and skateboarders crossing at marked or unmarked road crossings have the right-of-way. Slow down or stop and yield to the pedestrian. You may have to wait longer for an elderly or disabled person to cross. You must always give right-of-way to a blind person with a guide dog or white or metal cane, even if they cross against the traffic light or are not following other right-of-way laws.

Laws Pedestrians Must Follow

  • They must obey traffic signals, traffic officials and traffic signs.
  • They must walk on the sidewalk when available or if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic in the lane closest to them.
  • It is unlawful to stand in the road to conduct business with motorists or to hitchhike.

Precautions Drivers Should Take with Bicyclists

Motorists should take precautions when sharing the road with bicyclists. Unfortunately, bicyclists are more often difficult to spot than other vehicles and these safety tips can help drivers avoid a collision:

Do not rely on mirrors and check blind spots prior to:

  • Making a turn
  • Parallel parking
  • Opening a car door
  • Leaving a curb

When you drive, give bicyclists room and reduce speed when passing them. The back draft from a car can sometimes throw a bicyclist off balance.

Bicyclists will react to traffic or street hazards the same way cars would by slowing down, changing directions or changing lanes. You are required to yield the right-of-way to bicyclists, just as you would to another vehicle. You are both obeying the same rules of driving.

If you are involved in a pedestrian or bicyclist accident, Sackstein Sackstein & Lee, LLP , offers a free initial consultation to discuss your accident and evaluate your potential case.