Did you know you are likely a pedestrian almost every day? While some people in New Jersey walk to work or to shops, if you are merely crossing the street or walking in a parking lot, you are a pedestrian. Being a pedestrian exposes you to the danger of being struck by a negligent driver. It is important for motorists to share the road safely with pedestrians.
The statistics on pedestrian accidents are grim. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2019, 6,205 pedestrians lost their lives after being struck by a vehicle. To put it another way, a pedestrian was killed in a motor vehicle accident every 85 minutes in 2019. Clearly motorists owe pedestrians a duty to drive with reasonable care. They must share the road safely.
Tips for motorists
First, motorists should practice pedestrian awareness at all times. This means looking for pedestrians in their vicinity when driving, especially at night or when it is rainy, foggy or snowing. Motorists must approach intersections slowly and should come to a full stop before turning or moving forward. Motorists must yield to pedestrians using the crosswalk and should stop well behind the crosswalk so pedestrians do not have to walk into traffic.
Motorists should avoid passing other motorists stopped at a crosswalk because they may not see pedestrians trying to cross the street. Drunk driving should always be avoided under all circumstances. Speeding should also be avoided, especially in school zones or areas where children are present. Finally, motorists should take extra care when reversing to avoid striking a pedestrian that may be in their path.
By exercising a proper duty of care, motorists can share the road safely with pedestrians. If a pedestrian is injured in a pedestrian accident, they will want to explore all their rights and options including whether they have grounds to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.