New Jersey motorists must stop for pedestrians instead of yielding. Hikers, joggers, runners and anyone on foot is considered a pedestrian, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. When Sussex County residents go out for their morning walk or decide to walk to work, they are at risk of being injured by a motor vehicle. The NHTSA states that in 2010, there were 4,280 pedestrian fatalities and 70,000 walkers injured due to a traffic accident.
Pedestrian And Motorist Guidelines
Three years ago, the state of New Jersey enacted a law that requires drivers to completely stop for pedestrians in crosswalks instead of yielding. This law was devised to prevent and lower the number of pedestrian deaths. Although the NHTSA states that pedestrian fatalities account for 13 percent of deaths that occur due to traffic collisions, this percentage is higher in New Jersey. According to the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety, pedestrian deaths constitute 25 percent of the total number of deaths caused by traffic accidents in New Jersey.
Motorists who fail to comply with this safety regulation for pedestrians will be charged a $200 fine, a point penalty on their license and be required to complete community service. In addition to this law, motorists should ensure the safety of pedestrians by:
- Looking out for pedestrians crossing the road when turning right at a red light
- Following speed limits
- Not parking or blocking crosswalks
- Being aware of pedestrians at all times
- Keeping their windshield clean so that pedestrians are visible
Even though it is the duty of motorists to watch for pedestrians, individuals out walking should obey all traffic signals, look both ways when crossing, wear bright clothing when walking at night and refrain from walking while intoxicated.
Who Is At Risk?
All pedestrians are at risk for being injured by a vehicle while they are walking. However, children and the elderly have a higher risk of being hit by a motor vehicle on the road. Children and seniors should take extra safety precautions while they are walking to prevent injuries and fatalities.
Recently, a 73-year-old gentleman from Bloomingdale was walking at night when he was hit by a vehicle. Although the accident did not result in a fatality, he was in critical condition after being hit and was unconscious and bleeding from his head, says nj.com. Witnesses said that the driver who hit the elderly gentleman didn’t seem to be speeding or driving aggressively.
Pedestrians, especially children and the elderly, should take special care when out walking. If you were hit by a vehicle as a pedestrian, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can guide you through the legal process.