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What is a Driver’s Duty of Care to Pedestrians Under New York Law? Driver Negligence Explained


Driver’s duty of care in New York. New York City-based bicycle, bike, e-bike, e-scooter personal injury attorneys Glenn & Robin Herman

In the United States, drivers are responsible for making the roads as safe as possible for pedestrians by driving safely. The legal term for this responsibility is “duty of care” to pedestrians. If drivers fail to meet their duty of care, they may be charged with negligence. In this article, personal injury attorneys Glenn & Robin Herman explain drivers’ duty of care to pedestrians in New York.

Driver’s Duty of Care in New York

Your right to operate a vehicle comes with the responsibility of operating that vehicle in a sensible manner. The bare minimum expected of all drivers is to:

The definition of duty of care may seem vague, so to fully understand what drivers are responsible for, it is best to look at the opposite of duty of care, which is negligence.

Negligence in New York Traffic Law

Negligent behavior is responsible for the majority of traffic accidents in one form or another. Driving negligently can result in major injuries and even death for all parties involved. Most accidents are caused by one or a combination of several of the following types of negligence:

  • Failing to follow traffic signs and signals, including stop signs, yield signs, lane closure signs, posted speed limits, and traffic lights.

  • Failing to yield the right of way to pedestrians or cyclists. Pedestrians have right of way within marked and unmarked crosswalks when traffic signals indicate that they may cross. In crossings without signals, drivers should always yield to pedestrians. Cyclists must follow the same traffic laws as all other vehicles, but due to the high risk of injury for cyclists, drivers are expected to yield to them when appropriate.

  • Driving while intoxicated. Usually “driving under the influence” and “driving while intoxicated” are phrases…



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