Collisions between pedestrians and motor vehicles often result in serious injuries for the pedestrian. Walkers, joggers and bicyclists have to be constantly aware of their surroundings when near a road or when entering an intersection. Often, when these pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents occur, officials will take a closer look to see if anything can be done to prevent these accidents from happening in the future.
An allegedly drunk driver struck two teen girls with his vehicle as they walked home from a park at night. The driver is facing significant criminal penalties for the accident, but it also has lead to some renewed concern over pedestrian safety.
According to the South Jersey Traffic Safety Alliance (SJTSA), there have been 338 fatalities in traffic accidents in 2012. Pedestrians account for an alarming 25 percent of those killed in New Jersey motor vehicle accidents.
The SJTSA has released some tips for pedestrians that can help improve pedestrian safety:
- Always be alert and never try to predict what a driver will do
- Pedestrians should wear bright clothes, especially if they are walking at night
- If possible, pedestrians should avoid walking directly in roadways – find a sidewalk or walking path
- When crossing a street, use the crosswalk or cross at an intersection – this can sometimes help a driver see more clearly
- Make eye contact with the driver before entering a crosswalk, as this can ensure that the driver knows that the pedestrian will be crossing the road
Motorists also need to share the road with bicyclists and pedestrians. Understanding right of way rules at intersections can help cut down on the number of serious accidents that occur. Laws in New Jersey require motorists to stop when individuals are in crosswalks. Failing to do so may result in a fine.
Source: NB40.net “Safety for pedestrians on roadways a big concern in New Jersey” Desmond Miller, August 6, 2012.