Walk at your own risk—Manhattan can be a dangerous place for pedestrians


On an average weekday, the already sizable population of Manhattan swells to nearly 4 million people, all of which are cramped into roughly 23 square miles. For city planners, these numbers present numerous challenges including how to safely and efficiently move so many people throughout, into and out of the city.

On a daily basis, New York City’s streets are teaming with cars, taxis, trucks, buses, bicyclists and pedestrians. What’s more, the city is known as being fast paced as millions of people attempt to navigate through chaotic streets and make it to and from work on time. Combined, these conditions have created an environment in which traffic accidents and the resulting injuries and fatalities are relatively common.

During 2014, data from New York’s Police Department shows that a total of 45 people died in traffic accidents in Manhattan. This number accounts for 17 percent of the 269 traffic-related fatalities reported throughout the city’s five boroughs. Of those fatalities that occurred in Manhattan, at least 29 were pedestrians, the vast majority of which were hit by a motor vehicle while crossing the street.

Drivers who are distracted, run red lights, fail to yield the right of way and engage in other reckless and dangerous driving activities put the lives of everyone with whom they share the road in danger. Among the most vulnerable and likely to suffer serious and fatal injuries are pedestrians.

Walking is a wonderful way to see and get around Manhattan. It also, however, can be extremely dangerous. For individuals who live, work or visit Manhattan and plan to walk around the city; it’s wise to be cautious and vigilant. In cases where an individual is injured, a driver who caused or contributed to the resulting injuries or death should be held accountable.

Source: WNYC.org, “Mean Streets: Who is Dying in Traffic Crashes and Why?” Kat Aaron and Jenny Ye, March 19, 2014

The New York Times, “Everybody Inhale: How Many People Can Manhattan Hold?” Amy O’Leary, March 1, 2012

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