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Government reports decrease in fatal car and pedestrian accidents

Car and pedestrian accidents are among some of the most serious of all motor vehicle accidents and often result in those pedestrians impacted suffering debilitating or fatal injuries. In 1975, a reported 7,516 pedestrians were killed in U.S. traffic-related accidents. Since that year, the number of annual pedestrian deaths steadily decreased until 2009, when pedestrian fatalities began to increase.

Statistics recently released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, report that during the first half of 2013, pedestrian fatalities decreased by nearly 9 percent. While these numbers are encouraging, motor vehicle accidents in which pedestrians are injured or killed remain a problem in many states, including New Jersey.

During 2013, one fourth of all the motor vehicle accident fatalities reported in New Jersey involved pedestrians. Safety advocates point to increased use and reliance of mobile technology as contributing to some of these deaths. Drivers who are on or looking at a cellphone while driving may fail to see a pedestrian. Other factors contributing to car and pedestrian accidents include speeding and running red lights.

According to the GHSA, fatalities among pedestrians who were distracted are relatively uncommon. More common are fatal accidents in which a pedestrian failed to cross a road at a crosswalk or intersection because the distance between safe crossings was too far.

Pedestrians who were involved in car and pedestrian accidents may choose to take legal action. In cases where a driver violated traffic laws or was distracted or intoxicated at the time an accident occurred, a personal injury lawsuit may aid in the recovery of damages and help cover medical expenses and lost wages.

Source: The Detroit News, "Pedestrian deaths fall in '13, reversing trend," David Shepardson, March 5, 2014

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