Technological Impacts on Pedestrian Safety

• written by Krist Duro
Technological Impacts on Pedestrian Safety

Each year over 60 million tourists visit NYC and many of them visit Staten Island to see what the one-of-a-kind borough has to offer. One of the best, and easiest, ways to explore Staten Island is by walking. Whether you go on a walking tour or branch out on your own, your safety as a pedestrian is important.

Accidents involving pedestrians should be no surprise to visitors of any city. Large metropolitan regions are sprawling with lot of vehicles and even more foot traffic; accidents are bound to happen. Despite their inevitability in a big city, pedestrian collisions are avoidable and everyone should do their part to prevent them from happening.

In Staten Island NY alone, there were 443 accidents involving pedestrians from 2015 to 2016, clearly we can do better and decrease that number.

Whether you’re a lifelong resident of a major US city or just a visitor for the day, here are some tips to stay safer while you walk.

The Most Dangerous Time of Day to Walk

Just like any city, Staten Island has busier times of day than others. While the afternoon and evening hours may seem like an ideal time to walk to have dinner and attend an event, 3 to 9pm is considered the most dangerous time to be a pedestrian.

80 percent of Staten Island pedestrian fatalities occur during this busy time as opposed to 31 percent citywide. Does this mean you should avoid walking altogether during this time? Not necessarily, just be sure to exercise a little extra caution and always be on high alert for speeding or distracted motorists. It's important to research the most dangerous times of the day to walk, and plan your schedule accordingly. Various cities across the US have developed cutting-edge technological advancements such as safety apps, heat maps, and data collection sources that present safety data digitally to inform its residents of potential dangers.

Get To Know The Intersections

A pedestrian-related accident can happen anywhere and anytime but some intersections are notorious for being more dangerous than others.

Particular intersections within cities are generally known to have higher rates of accidents. As a tourist, you may be unaware of these areas. Utilizing digital resources compiled for citizen safety can help you to become more accustomed to areas of risk. As a pedestrian, you should treat every intersection (whether has a history of accidents or not) as a “dangerous” intersection. Always look both ways before you cross the street, even if you have the right of way.

Watch Out For Distracted Drivers

For decades, speed played a huge part in pedestrian-related accidents and still proves to be an existing contributor. Cities across the US have implemented speed radars, and cameras to combat the issues associated with speedy drivers. Though these have proven to be successful contributing advancements, the problem with distracted drivers still persists.

As more people become dependent on technology (despite the laws against texting and driving), drivers are more distracted than ever; distracted drivers make up about 36 percent of accidents involving a pedestrian.

While drivers have a certain level of responsibility when driving the streets of Staten Island, you, as a pedestrian, have some responsibilities, too. Following the rules for pedestrians can keep you safer. Here are a few things you can do:

  • Always use a crosswalk whenever possible
  • Only cross the street when it’s your turn (“Walk” sign is lit up)
  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street
  • Avoid using your phone while crossing the street, stay attentive
  • Use a map or your GPS while you’re sitting or standing rather than crossing an intersection

Keeping Yourself Safer

It may seem as though it's almost impossible to keep up on the numerous ways drivers and pedestrians alike become distracted on a day-to-day basis. Whether its texting while walking, or operating a device while driving through a busy intersection, safety should always remain our number one priority.

As a visitor, you should check local city ordinances to see what types of legislation has been developed to reduce dangerous drivers. Research apps, and download data sources from the local governing bodies which highlight areas of higher concern. Becoming familiar with dangerous intersections can keep you, and your peers safer while visiting unfamiliar areas.

Other ways to remain safe, outside of using technology include using the buddy system. Travel with peers when embarking on your journey around the city. Having a second set of eyes to alert yourself of potential dangerous, reckless drivers, or other individuals who might not be paying attention can help yield safer travels. By ensuring you are practicing safe behaviors at all times you can keep yourself as well as your peers safe from potential dangers in busy areas.

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