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NHTSA reports increase in pedestrian traffic accidents since 2009

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration maintains statistics regarding traffic accidents in New Jersey and the United States. In the U.S., the number of traffic accidents involving pedestrians has decreased in the last decade. However, statistics also indicate a 4 percent increase in pedestrian accidents from 2009 through 2010.

NHTSA statistics reveal that approximately 79 percent of traffic fatalities involving pedestrians occur away from intersections where drivers may not be aware of their presence on or near the road. Drivers are generally required by law to yield to pedestrians who may be crossing the street or walking on the side of the road. However, pedestrians should be aware of their surroundings at all times and make decisions to promote their safety. For example, they may cross a road at a marked intersection and walk on the side of the road facing on-coming traffic for improved safety. 

While there are steps that pedestrians can take to promote their safety on the road, some pedestrian car accidents may be caused by the negligent or intentional actions of a driver. Individuals who have been injured in a pedestrian auto accident may file a personal injury lawsuit in civil court to seek financial compensation for their accident-related expenses. These expenses may include lost wages, medical bills and other expenses.

A personal injury lawsuit may be filed against a person responsible for a car accident even if criminal charges are not filed. Punitive damages may ease the financial burden a car accident victim experiences. Those who have been involved in a pedestrian auto accident in Essex County or Newark may contact a personal injury lawyer to learn more about their rights.

Source: Lompoc Record, "Pedestrians must follow the rules of the road," Judy Taggart, March 7, 2013

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