Improvements sought for dangerous intersections in Trenton, New Jersey

A New Jersey man lost his leg due to injuries suffered in a car and pedestrian accident at a West Windsor intersection in Trenton last year. Area residents and county officials are seeking road improvements in an attempt to make the intersection safer for pedestrians following the collision that nearly killed the man as he was walking his dog. His pet died following the accident.

Although police report that the intersection has not seen an inordinate number of car accidents over the past years, restriping driving lanes and adding marked left turn lanes will improve safety.

According to state police statistics, more than 160 pedestrians lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents in New Jersey last year, a higher number than reported the previous year. Despite a 2010 law that requires all drivers in New Jersey to come to a complete stop for pedestrians, many fail to do more than slow down.

The biggest change needed, however, is for drivers to pay better attention to their driving habits. In an effort to enhance safety at a busy intersection in Lawrence, red-light cameras were installed as part of a statewide program. The plan backfired, however, when the rate of rear-end, sideswipe and right-angle accidents rose dramatically as drivers slammed on their brakes to avoid running the lights. Town officials may seek to be removed from the pilot program as pedestrian safety appears to have decreased.

Top causes of pedestrian accidents

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 70,000 pedestrians were injured and over 4,000 were killed during car and pedestrian accidents in a one-year period of time. Top causes of such accidents include the following:

  • Driver inattention or distractions such as cellphone calls and texting
  • Speeding
  • Failure to stop at crosswalks or yield to pedestrians
  • Impaired driving such as drunk or drugged driving

Pedestrians, themselves, are sometimes to blame for car collisions. More people are walking and talking on their cellphones and sometimes fail to pay attention to their surroundings. Electronic devices accounted for over 1,000 emergency room visits by pedestrians in 2010, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the Commission believes that figure is actually much higher.

Alcohol impairment is also to blame for a number of accidents. Drunk pedestrians may misjudge the speed a car is traveling and accidently step into traffic. Drivers, trying to avoid such pedestrians, may inadvertently cause a car collision.

Seek legal help

If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. An attorney knowledgeable about car accident cases can help you ascertain who is to blame for your losses and you may be entitled to medical care, wage losses and pain and suffering.