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Report: urban pedestrian accidents more dangerous than rural

In a recent post in this blog, pedestrian dangers in busy city areas were discussed. Urban congestion contributes to a large number of accidents in New Jersey and elsewhere in the country, but is by no means the only way for pedestrians to be struck by cars.

In 2014, 168 pedestrians lost their lives in New Jersey, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This number is particularly grave considering the small size of the state. In fact, fewer pedestrians were killed the same year in many larger states.

A 2014 report by Smart Growth America extensively studied the numerous factors surrounding pedestrian accidents across the country. Researchers determined that pedestrians are far more at risk of being hit while walking or jogging along rural roadways, as compared to busy city streets. Why is this the case? The very design of most urban roads in New Jersey and other states may be a large contributing factor to pedestrian danger. Urban streets are often high-speed highways that don’t have adequate sidewalks or crossing to help pedestrians travel along them more safely. Many drivers travel on urban roads at night, either during their commute home or upon taking a road trip. Intoxicated drivers are another serious concern on urban roads, especially when combined with speed and nighttime darkness. The result is that many drivers do not see a pedestrian walking nearby or are unable to react in time to avoid hitting the person.

In the report, researchers concluded that pedestrian safety might be dramatically increased if counties and cities across the country began including pedestrian-friendly routes along roadways. However, it may be some time before significant progress is made. A personal injury attorney may be able to help those who are injured in pedestrian accidents.

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