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NY1 Exclusive: Poll Finds Many NYers Place Accident Blame On City Drivers

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Traffic accidents are all too common in a bustling metropolis like New York, but an exclusive NY1/Marist poll shows most city dwellers think drivers are responsible for the majority of accidents on city streets.

Opinions vary depending on where one lives.

According to the poll, 59 percent of Manhattan residents say drivers are the main culprits, but 31 percent argue bicyclists are to blame for most traffic accidents.

Eighteen percent of people in Queens and on Staten Island say pedestrians are at fault.

"What we found overwhelming majority of New Yorkers think that car drivers are the contributing element to that. Sixty-eight percent tell us that's the case, followed a distant second by bicycle riders and then finally pedestrians picking up last place on that," said Marist Pollster Lee Miringoff.

"I believe it's the person. Cause a lot of people like me wear headphones and we're not aware of what's going on around us," said one New Yorker.

"I'd say drivers that aren't paying attention. Cause most drivers - a lot of drivers - are distracted by their cell phones, and their radio and eating and a lot of other things that we do," said another new Yorker.

Some Manhattan cyclists who spoke with NY1 disagreed with those surveyed who say they're the ones to blame.

"The issue in terms of bikers causing accidents I think is ridiculous, I mean we die regularly regardless of the lanes," said one cyclist.

"Many pedestrians are completely unaware of the function of a bike lane," noted another cyclist. "They feel that they can walk in it with impunity, and when you beep your horn at them or say something nice to them they are pissed off."

One man who spoke with NY1 simply said accidents could be avoided if drivers, cyclists and pedestrians would just pay more attention to each other.

Interviews for the poll were conducted by phone April 10th through the 17th.

The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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