New Jersey experiences a disproportionately large number of car crashes where pedestrians are injured or killed compared to the nation as a whole.
From 2014 through 2018, 869 pedestrians were killed on New Jersey’s roads. That translates into one death every 2 days.
In 2018, the latest year data is available, 566 people lost their lives in car accidents on New Jersey roadways. 176 of these people were pedestrians, which is 31% of all fatalities. The national average of pedestrian fatalities in motor vehicle accidents is 15%, so New Jersey is a huge outlier.
Why is this happening?
It is unclear why we have so many pedestrian accidents in our state. According to the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, “There is no one cause of crashes involving pedestrians. Pedestrians and motorists must both do their part to keep pedestrians safe.”
- Always cross at corners, within marked crosswalks where available.
- If crossing in other locations, yield the right of way to vehicles. Failure to obey the law carries a $54 fine.
- Look left, right and left again before crossing. Watch for turning cars.
- Always walk facing traffic.
- Obey traffic signals, especially “Walk/Don’t Walk” signs.
- Remain alert! Don’t assume that cars are going to stop.
- Wear reflective clothing when walking at night.
- Stay sober. Walking while impaired greatly increases your chances of being struck.
- Stop for pedestrians in marked crosswalks. Failure to stop carries a $200 (court costs additional) fine, a 2 point license penalty, 15 days community service, and insurance surcharges.
- Watch for pedestrians when turning right on red.
- Obey speed limits.
- Do not block or park in crosswalks.
- Keep your windshield clean for maximum visibility.
- Be alert for pedestrians at all times.
What to Do If You Are Injured
Pedestrians typically suffer more serious injuries than other people involved in car accidents and have a more difficult time getting compensation for their injuries.
Because they were not in a car at the time of the accident, a pedestrian must rely on his or her health insurance coverage when seeking medical care. That insurance company can then seek reimbursement from the insurance company that insured the driver involved in the accident.
This puts the injured pedestrian in the awkward position of having two or more huge companies arguing that neither one of them should really be responsible for paying for the pedestrian’s care. That’s where we come in. The Levin & Malkin team is frequently hired by pedestrians who want someone who will argue on their behalf and make sure they get the medical care and compensation they deserve for the injuries that they have suffered.
If the worst has happened, and you are grieving a loved one, or if you are laid up and should be devoting your energy to healing, we can be your representative at the negotiating table. We will advocate on your behalf, and ensure that you are not unfairly punished for not being in a car during your “car accident.” Contact our office in Hackensack today to schedule a free initial consultation.
Posted in: Pedestrian Accidents