Spring has arrived in New Jersey and this is a common time of year for many people to get outside and be more active. Those who may have joined gyms as part of their New Year’s resolutions may find that walking or jogging outside can be a great complement to their exercise and health routines. Certainly, these activities can be good for a person’s health and wellness but there are risks that people should be aware of as well.
One of the big risks that walkers, joggers or runners face is being hit by a car or other motor vehicle. In fact, pedestrian deaths in New Jersey spiked in 2017 to its highest level in at least a decade according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That year, a total of 183 pedestrians lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents. That year saw 20 more such deaths than the prior year when 163 people died, down from 170 in 2015.
Despite many advances in vehicle safety, too many drivers continue to make reckless and selfish choices when behind the wheel. Drunk driving, distracted driving and speeding are just some examples of factors that contribute to many fatal or serious accidents every year.
PedBikeInfo.org indicates that this reality makes it essential for pedestrians to make sure they are visible even during daylight hours. Wearing bright or reflective gear is always recommended. Crossing in designated crosswalks and making eye contact with drivers before stepping into a street or crosswalk may also help keep people on foot safe.