Safety strategies for pedestrians

Pedestrians are at risk for catastrophic injuries in accidents involving motor vehicles. New Jersey has even developed a Safety Action Plan to protect pedestrians from collisions.

Review these safety tips to protect yourself if you frequently travel on foot.

Know local traffic laws

New Jersey regulations about traffic apply to everyone using the roads. For example, you must cross the intersection only when signaled and remain in the crosswalk. On roads with no intersection or crosswalk, yield right of way to motor vehicles when crossing. In New Jersey, you can receive a $54 ticket for violating these laws.

Use the sidewalk rather than the road if possible. If you cannot access a sidewalk while traveling by foot, face traffic and stay as far to the side of the road as you can.

Avoid alcohol and distractions

About a third of fatal incidents with pedestrians occur when the walking person exceeded blood alcohol content of 0.08% at the time of the accident, according to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration. Serious accidents are also more likely to happen if you are using an electronic device or otherwise distracted.

Look to the light

If you can, schedule walks before dark or stay in a well-lit area. If you must walk after dark, wear reflective tape or bring a flashlight. No matter what time of day you travel, connect with drivers by making eye contact so they know you are on the road.

Stay alert and keep your safety in mind when traveling on foot. These tips are especially important for children and older adults, who are more likely to experience pedestrian auto accident injury.