New Jersey has experienced a surge in pedestrian fatalities, raising alarms about the safety of its streets. From 2011 to 2021, the state saw a sharp increase in the number of pedestrians losing their lives.
This disturbing trend underscores the urgent need for enhanced safety measures. It also highlights a need for more public awareness campaigns to curb the rising toll on New Jersey’s roadways.
How much pedestrian deaths increased
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that New Jersey’s pedestrian deaths increased 24% between 2011 and 2021. There are many reasons behind the surge. Some of these reasons include increased vehicular traffic, changing pedestrian behaviors and potential shortcomings in existing safety infrastructure.
Why pedestrian deaths increased
A contributing factor to the rise in pedestrian fatalities is the increase in traffic. As New Jersey experiences urbanization and economic growth, more vehicles crowd the roadways. This creates a higher risk for pedestrians. The surge in population has led to greater demand for transportation. This puts pedestrians in more frequent contact with vehicles, elevating the chances of accidents.
The shift in pedestrian behaviors also contributes to the escalating numbers. Distractions such as smartphones and earphones divert attention from the road. Also, some pedestrians may engage in risky behaviors, such as jaywalking, without proper caution. These factors compound the risks associated with vehicular traffic. In doing so, they contribute to the increase in pedestrian fatalities.
Addressing the rise in pedestrian deaths requires a comprehensive approach. New Jersey must consider improving infrastructure, enhancing public education on road safety and implementing stricter enforcement measures to reverse this disturbing trend.