An examination of data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives New Jersey the dubious honor of being in the top 10 states for pedestrian fatalities. The numbers should be a strong reminder to all drivers and pedestrians to take proper precautions.
According to NHTSA's data, there were 168 pedestrian fatalities in 2014 and 170 in 2015. This is good for a rate of approximately 1.88 fatalities per 100,000 residents, the 10th-worst rate in the United States. The worst state was New Mexico, which had a rate of 3.55 pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 residents.
Stay Safe When Walking
There are certainly many cases where pedestrians cause harm to themselves and others through their own carelessness. However, pedestrians are also much more vulnerable than car and truck drivers. And drivers often are not looking out for pedestrians.
The above stats should cause state and local lawmakers in New Jersey to consider whether there is anything they can do to reduce pedestrian fatalities. In the meantime, there are a few precautions that you can take as a pedestrian to better protect yourself:
- Stick to crosswalks when crossing the street and wait for walk signals
- Wear bright, reflective equipment at night or even carry a flashlight with you
- Limit distractions, such as listening to music or talking on the phone
Drivers can also take a number of precautions to protect pedestrians. This includes avoiding distracted driving, staying sober when behind the wheel, following all traffic laws and staying alert and cautious.
Whether walking to a store or going for a run, you should not have to fear that every time you head out you may not come home. If a negligent driver caused you or a family member harm, however, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you evaluate your options. This includes seeking effective medical care and documenting the extent of your injuries, gathering evidence and preparing a claim for compensation for your injuries.