Many people enjoy walking around the city. Whether it’s to work or simply for fun, the exercise and open air can be refreshing. It can also put someone at risk of serious injury or death in the event of a traffic accident.

According to the State Police, car crashes killed 565 people in New Jersey in 2018. Of those, 175 were pedestrians, meaning they were on foot at the time. In Essex County alone 25 pedestrians were killed that year, nearly double the number of drivers (13) that died in traffic accidents. For a time, the Federal Highway Administration even considered Newark a “focus city” as it looked to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths.

Staying safe

Both drivers and pedestrians should be doing everything they can to travel as safely as possible. The North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority has some tips. For drivers, those include:

  • Obey the speed limit
  • Drive sober
  • Stop for crossing pedestrians
  • Check for walkers when turning a corner

For pedestrians, the authority says to:

  • Only cross at corners and intersections, using a crosswalk if there is one
  • Look both directions, more than once, when crossing
  • Walk sober
  • Check for turning vehicles

Both drivers and pedestrians should stay completely focused on where they’re going – not their phone, music, or any other distraction. Simply paying attention can help prevent accidents from occurring in the first place.

What to do after an accident

If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, it’s important to not only get medical care immediately, but to keep all the paperwork. You may also want to consider speaking with a personal injury attorney. A lawyer may help ensure you receive fair damages for any injury, including the long-term health considerations associated with it.

With the number of pedestrian and auto accidents not showing any signs of lessening, consider having a plan in place – who to call, where to go, what to do – should tragedy strike.