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Pedestrian Safety - A Shared ResponsibilityOn the Road

Pedestrian Safety - A Shared Responsibility

Children are particularly vulnerable to pedestrian injuries

New Jersey experiences a disproportionate number of pedestrian injury crashes and fatalities compared to the nation as a whole.

Children and senior citizens are at a higher risk of being struck by a motor vehicle. Special emphasis must be made to educate children and seniors about the importance of walking safely. According to Safe Kids Worldwide pedestrian crashes have decreased by 40% throughout the nation, pedestrian injury is the second leading cause of injury related deaths in the United States for children age 5 – 14. Children are particularly vulnerable to pedestrian injuries because they are exposed to traffic threats that exceed their cognitive, developmental, behavioral, physical and sensory abilities. This is exacerbated by the fact that parents often overestimate their children’s pedestrian skills as recorded in findings from SKW 2007 Latest Trends In Pedestrian Safety. The types of crashes older pedestrians are involved in differ from crashes in which younger pedestrians are involved. Older pedestrian crashes tend to occur on a regular trip, often close to home or at shopping centers or recreational venues. A range of other crash patterns involving older pedestrians has been identified. These include:

  • crashes during daylight hours and mostly in urban areas,
  • crashes that occur at intersections, particularly those without traffic signals,
  • some crashes that occur because of reduced agility - older adults are less able to get out of the way of oncoming vehicles, and
  • crashes in the middle of an intersection that occur when a pedestrian was stranded because the crossing time was too short.

Pedestrian Safety is a Shared Responsibility! Here is what you can do!

Pedestrians

  • Always cross at corners, within marked crosswalks where available.
  • Look – Left –Right-Left before crossing. Watch for turning cars.
  • Obey traffic Signals
  • Remain Alert. DON”T Assume the cars are going to stop.
  • Wear reflective clothing at night.
  • Stay Sober. Walking while impaired greatly increases you chances of being struck by a vehicle.

Motorists

  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Failure to yield carries a $44 fine & 2 point license penalty (39:4-36)
  • Watch for pedestrians when turning on red.
  • Obey the speed limits
  • Do not black or park in crosswalks
  • Be alert for pedestrians at all times.

Children

  • Cross at intersections only
  • Never cross from in-between parked cars.

Seniors

  • Walk on sidewalks and cross only at corners, within marked crosswalks.
  • Wear bright colored reflective clothing especially at night.
  • Look – Left –Right-Left before crossing. Watch for turning cars.
  • Make eye contact with the driver before crossing in front of a vehicle.
  • Learn the proper use of “Walk/Don’t Walk” signals
  • Use the buddy system when possible to cross the street. If possible do not walk at night or during bad weather, snow or rain.

Contact

KJ Feury APNc, Injury Prevention Coordinator, Northern NJ Safe Kids / Safe Communities
KarenJean.Feury@atlantichealth.org
973-971-4327

Additional Resources

Pedestrian Safety - A Shared Responsibility State of New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety