Pedestrians at risk on daily basis

Somerset and Hunterdon County residents enjoy a good quality of life, yet there are still dangers that exist on a regular basis. Motor vehicle accidents can happen at any time and when they involve a pedestrian, the consequences can be severe. Around the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that a pedestrian dies every other hour from injuries sustained in such accidents. Pedestrians also have a much higher risk of death from collisions than their motorist counterparts-by as much as one and a half times according to the CDC.

The number of pedestrian fatalities rose year to year in both 2010 and 2011 according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. More than 4,400 people on foot lost their lives in 2011 in of a total of nearly 16,000 pedestrian accidents. Almost 16 percent of those who died were under 14 years old or younger.

Headlines are too easy to find

News stories abound with reports of automobile accidents involving pedestrians. Two recent pedestrian deaths are currently under investigation. In Bergen County, law enforcement officials are investigating an accident that killed a pedestrian on the eastbound side of Route 4. CBS news reported on the other incident that happened on Route 70 in Southampton. In this accident, a pedestrian died after being hit by a tractor trailer.

The numbers back up the risk

Statewide, 26.5 percent of all traffic deaths in 2012 were pedestrians. This is according to statistics collected and published by the NHTSA. More detailed information for that year shows the following:

  • A total of 156 pedestrians in New Jersey died following accidents with vehicles.
  • The number of pedestrian deaths is roughly twice the number of motorcyclists that died in the state.
  • Nearly 17 percent of all vehicular fatalities in Hunterdon County were pedestrians.
  • In neighboring Somerset, Morris, Warner and Mercer Counties, an additional 17 pedestrians died.

Pennsylvania's Bucks County was the location of 10 pedestrian deaths and Northhampton County lost another three pedestrians in automobile accidents.

Getting help is always advised

Because pedestrians have little to no protection compared to motorists, their chances of serious injuries and even wrongful death are much greater when involved in crashes. Victims and family members should take action promptly after such incidents occur.

Contacting an attorney should be done as soon as possible. This can help facilitate receiving proper compensation and assistance during a very difficult time. Every pedestrian deserves the right to feel safe when walking on area roads, sidewalks and parking lots.