Pedestrians are, unfortunately, highly susceptible to injury and death from motor vehicle accidents. In a state as densely populated as New Jersey, where people are constantly driving or walking around and seemingly always in a rush, we are always at risk of being in an accident.

People tend to forget that they can be involved in a motor vehicle accident regardless of whether or not they are actually in a motor vehicle. As pedestrians, we are at a heightened risk because there’s nothing to protect us. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is a crash-related pedestrian death in the United States every 1.5 hours. In 2016, 5,987 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes, with almost 129,000 pedestrians being treated in emergency departments for non-fatal crash-related injuries in 2015.

Due to the nature of being a pedestrian, there’s often not much we can do ahead of time to avoid an accident. However, it’s very important to be knowledgeable about what the top causes of pedestrian accidents are so that we can be aware of our surroundings and ready to avoid an accident if need be.

Careless Driving

Careless driving is a catch-all term that consists of all inattentive driving, such as speeding, running red lights, not looking before turning, and generally just not taking the care to be fully aware of surroundings, including nearby vehicles and pedestrians.

Distracted Driving & Walking

In a world dominated by smartphones, drivers and pedestrians alike are often distracted as they are getting to where they need to go. As pedestrians, it’s best not to use our phones while walking, especially in busy areas, but in particular we must avoid using them while crossing the street.

In addition, listening to loud music, especially with headphones on, can be extremely distracting. We are incredibly unalert when we’re texting and listening to music, which makes it increasingly dangerous to walk in busy areas and cross the street. As for drivers, it’s even more irresponsible to use the phone while driving because we aren’t as in control of our vehicles as we are of our bodies, not to mention the damage that can be done by cars, trucks, and SUVs.

Drowsy Driving

Many of us are tired due to our daily lives leading us to become drowsy drivers when we’re going places, especially when driving to and from work. It’s important to get a full night’s sleep in order to be the most alert driver possible.

Impaired Drivers & Pedestrians

It’s no secret that we become less responsive and alert when we are drunk as opposed to when we are sober. That’s why we must never drive drunk. While walking is safer than driving drunk, there are still even safer ways to get around when you’re under the influence. Try to always use an Uber or Lyft, bus, taxi, or get a ride from a sober friend if you’ve been drinking.

Poorly Lit Crosswalks & Lack of Sidewalks

Unfortunately, not all crosswalks and streets are well lit, making it difficult to see pedestrians when they’re crossing the street. As drivers, we must be careful when driving on poorly lit roads and aware of the possibility that someone may be crossing the street, requiring us to slow down or stop. Additionally, in certain areas where there are no sidewalks, we need to keep an eye out for people walking along the road.

If you are driving past someone walking on the side of the road, be sure to slow down and leave a few feet between the pedestrian and your car. If there’s another car preventing you from giving space between yourself and the pedestrian, then slow down, stop if you need to, and wait until it’s safe to pass the pedestrian.

Tips to Avoid a Pedestrian Accident

  • When possible, always stay on designated sidewalks and crosswalks
  • Wear brightly colored or reflective clothing when walking at night or in dark areas
  • Avoid walking in busy areas after drinking alcohol
  • Always look both ways before crossing the street and keep an eye on any cars that might be in the area
  • Never assume a driver has seen you

Unfortunately, no matter what precautions we take to avoid them, some accidents simply can’t be avoided. Human error is the cause of most accidents, and we can’t control the actions of others. Accidents can be very traumatic and expensive. If you or someone you know has been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact us today at 732-888-8888 or by emailing demandjudd@juddshawinjurylaw and allow us to fight on your behalf. Don’t hesitate to Demand Justice.

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Content edited by personal injury attorney Judd Shaw. From the beginning, Judd established a set of Core Values laying out the pursuit for excellence in client service. He is a regular host of the Working The Wow podcast, with the belief that providing an exceptional client experience is just as important as delivering a quality service or product. You can find us in Red Bank and Tom‘s River, New Jersey.