Pedestrian Accident Fatalities Reach High
The number of annual pedestrian accident fatalities in New Jersey is at the highest level in 20 years. According to a study conducted by the New Jersey State Police, 179 pedestrians were fatally injured in accidents throughout 2017. According to the acting director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, the last time figures were that high was in 1993, when 197 people were fatally injured.
These figures represent accidents involving people on foot and automobiles, and not all had occurred at designated crosswalks. Shockingly, about one-third of all crash fatalities that occurred in 2017 involved pedestrians. About half involved victims between the ages of 50 and 79. This could be due to several factors. Older Americans may have a harder time recovering from serious injuries than their younger counterparts or because many pedestrians are senior citizens, and have lost the ability to drive or cannot afford vehicles or public transportation costs.
Pedestrians and Motorists Have an Equal Duty
The acting director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety also stated that both pedestrians and motorists have a duty to keep state roads free of fatalities. He further noted that both pedestrians and drivers are to blame due to being distracted by use of smartphones and other devices. He urged drivers to slow down because high rates of speed reduce one’s reaction time.
Most people realize the dangers of using a smartphone or other handheld device while driving, but many people do not realize that pedestrians are also at risk when walking around parking lots or near streets while using their phones. There are things that we can all do to reduce the number of pedestrian related accidents.
- Stay inside your car if it becomes disabled due to a flat tire or other repair related issues. Sit in your vehicle and wait for help to arrive whenever possible.
- If you must leave your car, turn on emergency flashers and remain vigilant for oncoming traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street. Do not assume that because a light is signaling for you to go, it is safe to cross.
- Always be aware that just because you can see cars, that does not mean that they can see you. If walking at night, stay in brightly lit areas and wear reflective clothing. Wearing a headlamp or LED wristband light will help drivers locate you on the road.
New Brunswick Pedestrian Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Represent Clients in All Types of Personal Injury Claims
Pedestrians and drivers alike should both remain vigilant to decrease the risk of accidents and fatalities. If you have been injured in any type of accident, schedule a consultation with a New Brunswick pedestrian accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. Contact us today by calling 732-249-4600 or by completing our easy online contact form.