Recently, members of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority have been campaigning for safer road behavior with “Street Smart NJ”. Their goal is to spread awareness about road safety to reduce the amount of pedestrian injuries and fatalities that occur in the state.
Minimizing the amount of pedestrian accidents in New Jersey is a tough challenge. As the article highlighting Street Smart NJ points out, New Jersey had nearly double the national pedestrian fatality rate from 2011 to 2015. No amount of crosswalks and stop signs can stop the actions of one negligent driver. It is crucial that you know how the most common factors that lead to motorists crashing into pedestrians.
They misjudge their speed
While most crosswalks are clearly presentable, drivers going well over the speed limit may have a harder time preparing for one. They will not have as much time or room to react to an incoming crosswalk if they are going too fast.
This can result in them failing to stop for pedestrian crossing or hitting the brakes too late. Failure to stop at a crosswalk can result in a $200 fine, insurance surcharges, a 2 point license penalty, and 15 days of community service.
They impair their driving abilities
While speeding contributed to 27 percent of New Jersey fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2015, drunk driving contributed to 29 percent. It continues to be a serious issue in the United States that does not look to be slowing down any time soon. An intoxicated driver can have significantly delayed reaction time and a lack of awareness and control that can be a danger to any pedestrian no matter what part of the street they are on.
Distracted drivers also continue to be hazardous to the roads due to having similar reaction problems. Whether they are on their phones, eating or talking to the passenger, the increasing amount of distractions can make them oblivious to safe driving procedures.
They do not prepare for night time or weather hazards
Many pedestrian accidents can happen at night due to the driver not being able to see as well. While pedestrians are encouraged to wear bright or reflective clothing at night to help them, the driver may not have optimal lighting coming from their car or the surrounding street. Since it is at night, the driver could also be at risk for drowsy driving and fail to notice incoming crosswalks.
Heavy rain can also negatively impact a driver’s vision and driving ability. Not only will they have to get their windshield wipers constantly moving, but they will have a harder time braking and potentially overshoot an intersection.
Motorists who crash into pedestrians due to negligent driving can be liable for personal injury compensation. If you or a loved one are a victim of a pedestrian motor vehicle accident, you should consider pursuing legal action against the driver to receive proper compensation for any medical costs incurred as a result.