For many people, a daily walk is an integral part of their routine. Whether to take their dog out, meet up with a neighbor or just enjoy some quiet time, walking offers people an excellent way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, it seems that walking also puts people at risk. Reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Governors Highway Safety Association show that more pedestrians are dying on American roads than in nearly 30 years.
A CNBC article reported that pedestrian fatalities across the United States grew by 41% in the decade from 2008 to 2018. Today, pedestrians account for 16% of all vehicular fatalities nationwide. While this is tragic and disappointing, the numbers in New Jersey are even worse.
NHTSA records show that for every year between 2014 and 2018, pedestrians accounted for anywhere from 27% to nearly 31% of all vehicular fatalities in the Garden State, with 2018 having the highest rate of all of those five years.
One factor believed to contribute to the increase in pedestrian deaths is the continued increase in large vehicles on the road, such as sport utility vehicles. When a driver in an SUV hits a pedestrian, the pedestrian sustains the primary impact to their head or torso versus to their legs or hips if they are hit by a compact car or a standard sedan. Head and torso injuries result in more serious consequences, up to and including death, a greater percentage of the time. Distracted driving continues to plague the nation and cause a greater number of accidents.