Whether strolling along the boardwalk, crossing a street or making one’s way from a parked car into a building, a person may find themselves a pedestrian among a sea of vehicles.

Walking may be good for a person’s health, but it may also expose them to some serious dangers when navigating streets and parking lots with cars, trucks and other types of vehicles.

Pedestrian deaths in New Jersey

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that pedestrians comprise a significant portion of the state’s total vehicular fatalities each year. In both 2014 and 2015, pedestrians represented 30% of all people killed in automobile accidents. That percent declined slightly in 2016 to 27%, only to increase again to 29% in 2017 and then to 31% in 2018.

Between 2014 and 2018, a total of 110 people on foot lost their lives in vehicular crashes in Essex County.

New vehicle technology touts improved safety

Many auto manufacturers tout new features that aim to prevent accidents, thereby improving safety for everyone. Among these features are pedestrian detection systems and automatic braking systems. The Verge reports that one AAA study found these features to be sadly lacking.

When traveling at a mere 20 miles per hour in daylight conditions, test vehicles still hit adult-sized pedestrian dummies in 60% of scenarios. Daylight tests featuring child-sized pedestrian dummies returned even bleaker results.

Tests conducted during night conditions led AAA to deem the advanced safety features as completely ineffective. As many as three out of every four pedestrian fatalities in the United States occurs during the night or dark hours.