In New Jersey and all over the United States, it seems like the roads are becoming increasingly dangerous for everyone. This is especially true for pedestrians. With the number of distracted drivers, drivers who are disobeying the law and drowsy drivers, there is a growing vulnerability for pedestrians to be injured and lose their lives in a crash. Legislators, law enforcement and experts are concerned about the spike in pedestrian accidents and are trying to find solutions. With the known dangers, pedestrians should be aware of the facts and know what steps to take if they or a loved one have been hit by an automobile.
Statistics show increase in New Jersey pedestrian deaths
According to the head of the New Jersey Division of Traffic Safety, there has been a troubling rise in pedestrian deaths in the Garden State. The agency has an ambitious objective of zero fatalities. While achieving that is unlikely, it is a logical place to start. Still, the fatalities are incrementally growing. From 2019 to 2020, there were two more pedestrian fatalities from 176 to 178. Through September of 2021, there were 138. Pedestrians are a substantial portion of road deaths.
Because many locations in New Jersey are rural and people tend to travel on foot in areas with fewer road signs, winding roads and a greater opportunity for accidents, emphasizing planning and infrastructure are considered imperative to help reduce the number of pedestrian crashes. That, along with educating drivers, is considered a key to a safer landscape. Street Smart NJ is a program to teach drivers and pedestrians about the law. That includes basic factors in pedestrian collisions such as vehicles stopping before a crosswalk and people using them to cross. There are traffic penalties for violations including a $200 citation, two points on the license and more.
The aftermath of a pedestrian accident can cause many challenges
Across the nation, pedestrians are at risk with government researchers reporting that more than 6,700 pedestrians lost their lives in an accident in 2020 – around 18 per day. That was almost a 5% increase from the year before even with fewer people on the road because of the ongoing health situation. With their non-existent protection, pedestrians are notoriously vulnerable to personal injury and death in a collision with an automobile. Medical expenses can be massive and lives can be changed forever if the victim survives. Those left behind after a pedestrian death should be cognizant of their options. Having experienced help can be crucial when determining how to proceed.