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What can New Jersey do to keep pedestrians safe?

In any type of motor vehicle collision involving a pedestrian, those on foot will almost certainly suffer the worst injuries. From broken bones and head trauma to spinal cord damage and crush injuries, pedestrians will often struggle with catastrophic injuries after a crash. It is crucial that city planners take a thorough look at what they’ve done to keep pedestrians safe on every street.

Various cities, regions and municipalities handle pedestrian traffic in different ways. While there might be state-level edicts, cities must thoroughly examine traffic patterns and explore methods geared toward reducing or eliminating pedestrian accidents. While every region might adopt a different combination of methods, there are myriad crosswalk visibility enhancements for both drivers and pedestrians, including:

  • Reflective paint for crosswalk striping
  • Flashing warning signs on the sides of the road
  • Flashing in-lane warning signs in the crosswalk
  • Advance signage warning drivers to stop or yield
  • Curb extensions that reduce the street width designated as a driving path
  • Improved nighttime lighting can give drivers more advance warning of the crosswalk

Additionally, officials can implement new technology to help pedestrians reach safety. These enhancements can include:

  • Audible crosswalk warnings and countdowns
  • Visual countdown on all walk signals
  • Extended safety zone in the central median island

When a motor vehicle strikes a pedestrian, injuries can occur based on the initial impact, falling to the ground, striking the curb, getting pulled under the vehicle or being dragged behind the vehicle. Any of these scenarios can lead to broken bones, multiple lacerations, torn ligaments, crush injuries, brain damage or paralysis. In severe instances, the pedestrian could be killed.