On December 28, a 55-year-old pedestrian was struck by a driver while traveling in Carlstadt in attempts to catch a NJ Transit bus. According to authorities, the man was crossing the highway after leaving his shift at a nearby gas station. The accident occurred at a busy four-way intersection. The driver who hit him was traveling north, and had the right of way. It appears that the victim did not obey the walk signal.
It is dangerous crossing the street due to overly aggressive drivers in New Jersey. Unfortunately, innocent pedestrians sustain serious and permanent injuries or even death caused by negligent drivers. In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates more than 130,000 hospitalizations for crash incidents inflicted on pedestrians. Pedestrian accidents can often bring harmful physical consequences with them including fractures, brain injuries, as well as paralysis and injury to internal organs.
The speed of the driver at the time of the collision has a strong effect on victim fatality. For example, while the chance of victim fatality during a 20 mph collision is only 5%, this figure increases to 85% when the speed of the collision is 40 mph. If a pedestrian is struck while walking in a designated crosswalk, liability on the part of the driver is clear. Drivers have a duty to stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk.
However, it appears that the driver who struck the pedestrian in this case did not violate a duty of care to the pedestrian, since the victim was not walking at the appropriate signal.
Below is a recommended list of precautions provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that pedestrians can take in order to maintain safety when crossing busy streets.
- Walk on sidewalks when available and follow the rules of the road (traffic signals and signs).
- Try to walk facing traffic and make eye contact with drivers when attempting to cross streets.
- Be visible. Wear bright colored clothes during the day, and wear reflective and neon colors at night so that motorists can see you.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs while walking, since these substances may impair vision.
- Look for cars in all directions, including left and right and watch for vehicle entering or exiting driveways and parking lots.
In order to prevent pedestrian accidents when crossing streets, drivers are also cautioned to yield at crosswalks, look out for parked cars, and follow speed limits and other regulations. Furthermore, drivers should be cautious when backing up and should proceed with extra caution in lower speed limit areas such as school zones.
At Aretsky Law Group, P.C. our attorneys will upon being retained by you, immediately begin to investigate your case and gather evidence to build the strongest possible case on your behalf. Often we will employ private investigators to assist us in this investigation. Deploying these assets early on assists us to produce the strongest case on your behalf. We aim to outwork the other side and to be as prepared as possible to fight for you.