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Authorities in New Jersey release tips for pedestrian safety

Pedestrian accidents can be some of the worst; the human body has little protection against vehicles that weigh thousands of pounds. In 2015, the New Jersey State Police reported 161 pedestrian fatalities, which is a decrease from 2014, but still more than anyone wants to see.

Many pedestrian accidents take place as the people try to cross the street. Usually, these people are in crosswalks or are obvious; drivers should be moving slowly enough to account for anyone crossing the street. The police have recognized that pedestrians can sometimes be at fault, though, and issued some safety procedures all people should take to heart.

Pedestrians should pay attention to the road at all times and not be using cellphones or texting while crossing the road. They should wear bright clothing and supervise their children. Near driveways, it's important to monitor the area for cars pulling out or in. If sidewalks aren't available, walking against traffic is important, so drivers have a better chance of seeing you. Finally, crossing safely involves looking both ways and being vigilant while crossing.

Drivers, who many times are at fault for crashes, need to obey the rules of the road. Obeying the speed limit is vital, because those who do should have enough time to stop before red lights and crosswalks, and most vehicles would then also have enough time to stop if someone walked out in the road a few cars ahead of them. Drivers should be particularly vigilant when near schools, playgrounds or parks, since children may not pay attention to the roads. Drivers who don't follow these rules could be held accountable by victims and their families, making them liable for all costs associated with any injuries they cause.

Source: NJ.com, "Did you look both ways? N.J. cops talk pedestrian safety after multiple crashes," Brittany M. Wehner, Jan. 07, 2016

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