Sunlight shines down the streets of New York City with taxis stopped at the intersection

Dangerous Intersection Alert: How to Avoid Car Accidents in Brooklyn

In New York City, not all intersections are created equal, and some are far more accident-prone than others. Unfortunately, many of these problem spots are right here in Brooklyn. A recent Localize Labs study revealed the 20 most dangerous intersections for pedestrians and cyclists, and eight of them were right here in our borough.

Here are some details about the most dangerous local intersections and how you can still travel these routes without being involved in car accidents in Brooklyn.

Lawrence and Willoughby Streets

Based upon data collected between January 2013 and January 2018, there were five pedestrians and two cyclists injured in Downtown Brooklyn at Lawrence and Willoughby Streets.

Sterling Place and Kingston Avenue

Another problem area is in Crown Heights, where five pedestrians and two cyclists were injured at the Sterling Place and Kingston Avenue intersection during that date range.

Newkirk Avenue and Argyle Road/Rugby Road

Newkirk Avenue is a big issue in the Ditmas Park area of Brooklyn because of two streets it intersects. Where it intersects with Argyle Road, four pedestrians and three cyclists were injured. And at Rugby Road and Newkirk Avenue, four pedestrians and two cyclists were injured at the intersection.

A Cluster of Williamsburg Streets

The busy Williamsburg area is particularly problematic in our borough. There were two pedestrians and five cyclists injured at Keap Street and South Fourth, four pedestrians and seven cyclists injured at Havemeyer and South Third, and two pedestrians and four cyclists injured at Hooper and South Fifth in recent years.

Smith and Wycoff Streets

The intersection of Smith and Wycoff is another area to watch out for when you’re driving, walking, or biking. This Boerum Hill area saw two pedestrians and four cyclists injured where these streets meet.

What Car Accidents in Brooklyn Have in Common

Across all these parts of Brooklyn, there are some common threads between accidents occurring at these intersections.

For example, about 40 percent of the city’s most dangerous intersections involve one-lane streets. Single-lane intersections are prominent hazards for cyclists and pedestrians. Another big issue is when bike, pedestrian, and car traffic all come together in narrow spaces. This is a major cause of accidents near the Williamsburg Bridge.

In Ditmas Park, a big issue is not having strategically placed stop signs to prevent cars from turning without yielding to pedestrians. Meanwhile, drivers here may have trouble seeing past intersections to know when it’s safe to move forward, thereby pushing them into pedestrian crosswalks for a better line of sight.

Drivers’ speeding to get through yellow lights, failure to yield for approaching pedestrians, and running stop signs are all major causes of car accidents in Brooklyn. Also, we can’t help but notice that low-income communities are less likely to have protected bike lanes, thereby increasing the accident potential of these local intersections.

How to Avoid These Patterns to Prevent Future Accidents

City-wide improvements are needed to make these and many other intersections safer for non-motorized traffic, such as better streetlights, curb extensions, and enforcement of traffic violations. However, there are also things you can do as a driver, pedestrian, or cyclist to minimize your risk of car accidents in Brooklyn.

As a driver, you can reduce your accident potential by minimizing distractions and never using your phone while driving. You can also help keep fellow Brooklynites safe by allowing more time for traffic so you’re not in a rush and inclined to speed to reach your destination on time.

Meanwhile, pedestrians and cyclists must be hyper-aware of their surroundings and minimize their own distractions by avoiding cell phone and headphone use while crossing streets. Pedestrians should not rely on pedestrians walk signals but still look both ways before crossing streets, make eye contact with drivers, and wear reflective clothing or carry a light at night. Cyclists also benefit from making themselves and their bikes more visible to drivers, avoiding weaving in and out of traffic, watching for parked car doors, and wearing helmets.

But even with these precautions in mind, accidents will still likely occur at these Brooklyn intersections and cause injuries and vehicular damage of varying levels. If you are involved in a Brooklyn car accident, call the Law Office of Jeffrey K. Kestenbaum at 718-237-5586.  We handle pedestrian injury cases, distracted driving accidents, wrongful death lawsuits, and much more to help members of our community pursue justice and receive the compensation they deserve.

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