What makes a road dangerous for pedestrians?

Pedestrian accidents in New Jersey are unfortunate combinations of very dangerous factors. They often lead to severe injuries and tragic results. Law enforcement and community safety agencies focus constantly on reducing the risk of such accidents (such as writing tickets for speeding and failing to yield). While these may keep drivers on notice, the following factors should keep pedestrians wary when crossing the street.

Multiple lane roads – Whenever pedestrians must cross multiple lanes of traffic (in each direction) in order to get to the other side, the risk of them being struck increases dramatically. Roads with no center island (or median) are the most dangerous.

Roads with little or no lighting – In well-lit areas, pedestrians are more likely to be seen by drivers. Roads with no lighting offer little protection for pedestrians.

Businesses that cater to foot traffic – These may include fast-food restaurants, thrift stores and check cashing banks. They are often frequented by people who do not drive cars or travel by bus, which inherently leads to foot traffic (and potential accidents).

Long stretches between crosswalks – Many pedestrians try to cross in dangerous places because crosswalks are so spread apart (especially in suburban areas) where they do not want to travel long distances to find crosswalks.

Despite these dangers for pedestrians, drivers also have a duty to watch out for (and avoid) pedestrians. It is not uncommon for drivers to be distracted by cell phones, or to be under the influence of alcohol or additional mood altering substances. If you have questions about your rights and options after an accident, a personal injury lawyer can help.

Source: TimesUnion.com, Toll: 8 dead, 300 injured, April 8, 2013

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