In a tragic and unusual circumstance earlier in August, a British tourist who had recently landed in New York lost her leg when a taxi jumped the curb, hitting and injuring her immediately. While the case is still under investigation, initial reports stated the taxi had jumped the curb in an effort to avoid hitting a bicyclist messenger who was riding close to the taxi. What are the frequency of taxi /bike or taxi/pedestrian accidents, and is there any way to avoid them?
Riding a taxi for transportation is not uncommon when visiting an unfamiliar city.. We relish in the aid of someone else driving us around and taking us to where we need to go without the hassle of maneuvering ourselves among local drivers. As pedestrians, we enjoy the conveniences of taxi drivers when we need them, particularly in bigger New York cities and east coast towns. We know the taxi drivers have the experience driving routes that we don’t know, and often they know the best places to visit. But, even drivers of any kind can lose their cool, or have to make quick decisions to avoid an unnecessary accident.
Pedestrians swarm the streets of New York daily, walking to their places of employment, shopping the various venues, or making sure they arrive safely at their next destination. In the case above when the driver made a sudden move to avoid what he thought would be a tragic accident, the tourist was right in the line of fire. Tragic circumstances for all involved. As pedestrians, here are some things you can do to stay safe while walking or biking:
- Pay attention! We never become tired of telling you to make sure you keep your eyes on the road whether you are driving, biking or walking. Texting and cell phone distractions are not only prevalent among drivers, but also among walkers.
- Watch the traffic. That’s right–even when you are walking, it makes sense to be aware of the traffic around you. Is there a construction zone that might cause a taxi or other vehicle to have to make a sudden change in direction? Are there warnings or postings on the sidewalk? Is there an accident up ahead, where the driver of your taxi may become impatient and try to find a way out of thick traffic situation?
- Look both ways. You remember teaching your children about this when they were young, and it bears keeping this simple rule in mind as an adult, too. Drivers try to beat the signals or assume a pedestrian is on the sidewalk. Be sure to look both ways when crossing, and pay particular heed if you are in a foreign country.
If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, it may be difficult to obtain all the facts unless there was a credible witness at the scene. Enlist in a firm who knows New York, and who knows how to settle personal injury cases.