Being a pedestrian can be hazardous to one’s health in New Jersey and around the country. U.S. Department of Transportation statistics showed that a pedestrian died, on average, in a traffic accident every two hours somewhere in the United States in 2012, and every seven minutes a pedestrian was injured. More than 4,700 pedestrians died in traffic accidents in that year alone.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that pedestrians are 15 times more likely to die in traffic accidents than occupants of passenger vehicles. Senior citizens and children bear the highest risk of dying in a pedestrian accident. Alcohol, whether it was consumed by the driver or the pedestrian, was involved in almost 50 percent of the auto-pedestrian accidents in 2012.
Since many of these types of accidents occur at night, pedestrians need to make sure they can be seen by carrying a flashlight or wearing protective clothing. They should make sure to cross streets at intersections, since many traffic accidents involving pedestrians occur at non-intersections. It’s safest if pedestrians walk on sidewalks, but when none are available, they should walk on shoulders facing oncoming traffic.
Even when a pedestrian does not die after being hit by a motor vehicle, they may still be seriously injured, especially if the vehicle was going fast. Those who have been injured in this type of an action may wish to speak with a personal injury attorney to determine the recourse that may be available. An attorney can review the police investigation report and other evidence to establish negligence on the part of the driver, which could form the basis of a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for the damages that were sustained.