Americans are on the move and many are choosing to walk to work and school, or are just hitting the sidewalk for exercise and pleasure. Pedestrian traffic has increased exponentially as our concern for the environment and our emphasis on fitness has grown over the past decade. While there is a myriad of benefits to traveling on foot, pedestrians are at risk for serious and sometimes fatal injuries when they encounter motor vehicles.
Pedestrians injured by reckless, negligent, or careless drivers can recover compensation for their injuries and damages through a personal injury lawsuit. The South Jersey pedestrian accident lawyers at Williams Cedar are dedicated to helping injured pedestrians claim the maximum amount of compensation available.
Statistics on Pedestrian Accidents
Pedestrians include all individuals who are traveling or sitting in an area close to a roadway. Walkers, hikers, joggers, and even people who are waiting at a bus stop or picnicking on the side of the road are all pedestrians at risk for serious and fatal injuries resulting from careless and negligent drivers.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) claims that 65,000 pedestrians are injured each year in traffic accidents across the country. Close to 200 pedestrians were killed in New Jersey in the year 2017, which was the highest number of pedestrian fatalities recorded since 1993. The New Jersey state Division of Highway Safety has reported staggering increases in the number of serious and fatal pedestrian accidents each year in the state.
Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
Despite state and national campaigns warning drivers of the dangers of distracted driving, this is still the number one cause of serious and fatal pedestrian accidents. Drivers who text, use their cell phone, or engage in other distracted driving behaviors put themselves, pedestrians, and all other vehicles on the road in danger of serious car accidents.
Sending an average text message takes approximately five seconds of personal attention. For drivers traveling at a speed of 50 miles per hour, the five seconds that it takes to send a text message is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field blindfolded. Considering the number of pedestrians that can cross in front of a vehicle in that stretch of time, the potential for disaster is undeniable.
Speeding is another cause of pedestrian accidents. Drivers who fail to obey local speed laws leave little time to react to a child who darts out into the street chasing a ball, or an elderly person struggling to cross the street. The impact of a speeding car colliding with a pedestrian often results in catastrophic injuries. Reckless and speeding drivers are responsible for a large majority of pedestrian fatalities.
A lack of sidewalks, bike paths, and pedestrian crosswalks over busy highways increase the likelihood for pedestrian accidents. Many rural and urban areas have heavy foot traffic along the main roadways. Pedestrians crossing busy highways and wide intersections are at risk for being struck by a motor vehicle. Even when pedestrians are crossing at intersections with traffic lights, careless and negligent drivers who fail to obey traffic signs and signals cause serious and fatal injuries to these vulnerable individuals.
How to Reduce and Prevent Pedestrian Accidents and Injuries
Several state and national safety advocate groups are working to reduce the number of pedestrian accidents and injuries. Advocates in New Jersey are lobbying for the state to adopt a program like New York’s Vision Zero pedestrian safety initiative.
The Vision Zero campaign focuses on increasing pedestrian safety by providing bicycle and pedestrian traffic lanes, and by enforcing traffic laws with significant fines and penalties. Careless and negligent drivers who cause a pedestrian accident resulting in serious injury or death face considerable fines and possible imprisonment. Since the program started, New York City officials claim the lowest number of pedestrian accidents in the history of the city.
Pedestrians are also advised to take proactive measures to ensure their safety. Sidewalks and pedestrian walkways should always be used when available, and everyone should travel in the direction of oncoming traffic. Crossing intersections with traffic signals is advised, being sure to leave enough time to cross an intersection before starting out.
South Jersey Car Accident Lawyers at Williams Cedar Represent Victims Injured in Pedestrian Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, call the South Jersey car accident lawyers at Williams Cedar at 856-470-9777 or 215-557-0099 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our offices are in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, allowing us to represent clients throughout Pennsylvania, South Jersey, and across the nation.