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The seriousness of pedestrian accidents

Believe it or not, every time we are motorists, we are also pedestrians at some point. This is because when a vehicle is parked, we become a pedestrian when we walk from our parked car to a final destination. Whether it is in a city, shopping district or a residential area, pedestrians are found on sidewalks, parking lots and the side of a street. Therefore, drivers in New Jersey should constantly be aware of their presence. The failure to do so could result in a serious or even fatal pedestrian accident.

Although pedestrians are expected and required to exercise caution when traveling in areas motorists frequent, drivers are required to uphold their duty to drive safely. This duty is not only extended to other motorists, but also to pedestrians walking in the area. Abiding by traffic signals, such as a sign or light, is also always expected. Thus, pedestrians should only cross the road when signaled to do so or when it is safe to do so. Additionally, motorists are required to yield to pedestrians that have the right-of-way.

The difficult reality is that pedestrians are one of the most vulnerable travelers. In the event of a motor vehicle crash, a pedestrian is likely to suffer catastrophic injuries. Because a person cannot stand up to the weight and size of a vehicle, even at slow speeds, a struck pedestrian is likely to suffer injuries in a collision. On average, 430 pedestrians are injured everyday from accidents involving motor vehicles. Data from 2013 indicates that 4,735 pedestrians were killed that year while more than 156,000 suffered injuries in a crash.

When a pedestrian accident occurs, it is important to understand the factors involved in the crash. Was a motorist negligent? If so, steps could be taken to hold that driver accountable. An injured pedestrian may be able to file a personal injury action in certain circumstances. This could help them pursue compensation while also holding a negligent motorist accountable for their wrongdoings.

Source: cdc.gov, "Walk This Way! Taking Steps for Pedestrian Safety," accessed Sept.17, 2017

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