Each day, walkers, joggers and others share the roads across New Jersey and elsewhere with motor vehicles. Unfortunately, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that approximately 65,000 people were injured and 4,884 were killed in pedestrian-involved traffic accidents in 2014 alone. While not all pedestrian-involved wrecks can be prevented, there are some things walkers and joggers can do to help improve their safety.
Traffic signals are in place to help direct and regulate traffic. They let drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians and others know what each are doing, which helps to prevent some collisions. To help ensure their safety, it is advisable that pedestrians take care to obey all traffic signals, particularly those indicating whether to walk or not.
Distractions pose a number of risks for everyone on the road. It is especially important, however, for people to stay alert while they are walking. They should keep an eye on the vehicles and pay attention to what is going on around them. By spotting changes in the traveling conditions and other emergency situations that may arise on the road, they may take steps to adjust and avoid being struck by a vehicle.
In order to help prevent pedestrian-involved collisions, it is also advisable for people to only walk in designated pedestrian areas, such as the sidewalk. If a sidewalk is not available, pedestrians should walk as far to the side of the road as possible. Additionally, it is also recommended for people to only cross the street in marked crosswalks. If they have to cross the street somewhere else, the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety points out that pedestrians must give vehicles the right of way.
Some pedestrian accidents occur because drivers do not see the walkers or jogger. It is suggested that people wear light-colored, reflective clothing if they are walking or jogging at night. This may serve to increase their visibility, and thus, improve their safety. During the daytime, pedestrians are advised to wear brightly-colored clothing.