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NHTSA Releases 2012 Pedestrian Safety Fact Sheet

By Lependorf & Silverstein on January 19, 2015

NJ Pedestrian InjuryThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released its final analysis of traffic accident data from 2012, including information about pedestrian accidents and deaths.

The NHTSA estimates that in 2012, 4,743 pedestrians were killed nationwide and another 76,000 were injured.  These numbers represent an increase of six percent over the numbers in 2011.  Since the rate of all car accidents dropped between 2011 and 2012, the increase in pedestrian deaths raises particular concerns – the roads may be getting safer for cars, but they’re getting less safe for those who walk.

In 2012, pedestrian deaths made up 14 percent of all fatalities suffered in traffic accidents, according to the NHTSA.  Seventy-three percent of these deaths occurred in urban settings, like cities and towns.  The majority of these accidents – seventy percent of them – took place away from intersections.  Weather also played only a minor role in pedestrian accidents, with 89 percent of all deaths occurring during clear or cloudy days without precipitation.  Darkness did, however, play a role: seventy percent of all pedestrian deaths took place between 6 pm and 6 am.

Elderly pedestrians were more likely to be killed in traffic accidents than younger pedestrians.  In 2012, 20 percent of all pedestrians who suffered fatal accidents were over age 65, the highest rate of death of any pedestrian age group.  Children under age 15 were also at a higher risk, making up 18 percent of all pedestrian deaths in 2012.

Although the rate of traffic accidents in New Jersey overall has dropped in recent years, the rate of pedestrian accidents in New Jersey and nationwide has not kept pace.  Experienced New Jersey pedestrian accident attorneys urge drivers and pedestrians to take extra care to protect those who walk alongside our state’s roads.

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