Walking is good for your health and the environment, and with rising gas prices, it can also help offset the inflation pinch everyone is feeling. However, if you’re a local in Newark, NJ, you need to know about a disturbing new trend in the area. Recent statistics show that pedestrian fatalities in our beautiful city and the entire state of New Jersey are on the rise.
There are multiple reasons why this is happening, and we’ll go over all of them below. What’s more, we’ll give you some important tips to help you avoid a pedestrian vs. vehicle accident as well as what to do if you are involved in a pedestrian accident.
Pedestrian Fatalities in Newark and NJ: What the Statistics Show
Statistics for 2021 revealed that 220 pedestrians lost their lives in accidents. That number is the highest it has been for over 30 years.
Experts believe that the pandemic is one of the reasons for the rise in pedestrian accidents. In the early stages, the pandemic sharply decreased the amount of traffic on the road, which led to more foot traffic. Emptier roadways also provided motorists the ability to speed and drive recklessly. Those aren’t the only issues, though. Experts also say the following factors are contributing to the trend:
- Not enough crosswalks
- Poor sidewalk infrastructure
- Subpar lighting
Both drivers and pedestrians have a responsibility to ensure their own safety and the safety of others.
Tips to Stay Safe as a Pedestrian
In a pedestrian vs. vehicle accident, the injuries to a pedestrian are often very serious. To stay safe as a pedestrian, it’s important to always remain vigilant on the road. Make yourself as visible as possible by wearing light-colored clothing and reflective vests or other apparel that will make it easier for drivers to see you. Safety experts advise that you walk towards traffic rather than in the same direction as traffic. This serves two purposes. It makes you more visible to drivers while also allowing you to react to dangers from approaching vehicles. If a sidewalk is available, then use it.
The Division of Highway Traffic Safety is working with local agencies to help develop safety measures to combat the rise in pedestrian deaths and catastrophic injuries. These plans contain three major components of education, enforcement, and engineering. Education targets high-risk groups, such as children, the elderly, and non-English speakers. Enforcement means increased patrols at likely pedestrian crash locations. The engineering component focuses on enhanced signage, stripes at crosswalks, and other safety measures.
Know Your Options if You Experience a Pedestrian Accident
Following all the safety tips above is important, but even the most vigilant pedestrians can still encounter accidents due to events outside of their control. You may be entitled to compensation if you have sustained serious or catastrophic injuries in a pedestrian accident. When a pedestrian accident results in death due to negligence by another party, you should contact a wrongful death attorney to learn about your options.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, fill out this accident form to get in touch with an attorney who can tell you more about your legal options.