Can we lower Pedestrian Accidents and Deaths?

The safe zone for pedestrians.
The safe zone for pedestrians.

[symple_spacing size=”80″]Pedestrian accidents and deaths in New Jersey, can they be as bad as they seem?

Let’s start off by looking at the statistics, 156 deaths in 2012 up from 142 in 2011.  Not that many you may think, but more than anyone would want.  So, why do they happen and what to do about preventing them is what I am going to address.

Now that I have your attention here are some hints for both the pedestrian and the driver.

1) When you are out walking always use the sidewalks when they are available and only walk in the road facing traffic if there is no sidewalk.  Facing the traffic lets you see them verses just hearing approach.

2) Wear bright clothing during daylight hours and if you want to enhance your chances of being seen buy one of those reflective orange vests.  Better to look stupid, than be hurt or even worse dead!

3) When crossing the street that has Walk/Don’t Walk Signs wait for the sign to display walk and then proceed at a steady walking pace.  Remember a driver is looking at the traffic light and may not see you if you cross against the light.  It is one of the most stupid things you could do while out walking.

4) Do not walk across the street without looking in both directions and do not assume that just because you are already in the street that the driver has seen you or will be able to stop.  The law governing drivers is N.J.S.A. 39:4-36 and all you have to know is if someone is in a marked pedestrian crossing you must stop.  And stay stopped until they get all the way across off the roadway.

5) As a pedestrian you really should not cross a divided highway, especially at any point where there is a concrete divider, except at a marked crossing point.

6) Those who are pedestrians do everyone a favor and do not listen to music or whatever when walking in or crossing the street.  You can not hear a vehicle coming nor can you be completely concentrating on the task of not getting hit by a vehicle.

7) Drivers you must obey the speed limit, especially when driving in areas that are not highways.  That is housing developments, in town/city and parking lots. Not doing so is reckless and irresponsible.   It takes a longer distance to stop the faster you are going.

OK thanks for the hints, but why are these accidents happening?  Well to be quite frank I think the pedestrian must always be vigilant, much more than those driving.  After all a vehicle is much heavier and bigger than any human being.  It is usually moving at a speed that exceeds a human beings ability to jump out of its way if it is in nearby proximity.  That does not mean that those driving do not have the responsibly to not endanger any pedestrian whether in a crosswalk or on the street.

So to conclude all I have to say that too much emphasis is being put on the driver to prevent these deaths.  Pedestrians also share the responsibility of preventing these tragedies.  They must be alert and stop running into the roadway without looking!

That is my opinion- Jumpin Jersey Mike


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