MOUNTAINSIDE, N.J., April 30, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- New Jersey is among the two worst states regarding pedestrian and bicycle safety. The statistics for injuries and fatalities, and the record for infrastructure improvements to prevent these accidents, is dismal. According to a recent Tri-State Transportation Campaign analysis and NJ State Police data:
- 26.8% of NJ road deaths in 2000-2013 were pedestrian and bicycle fatalities
- 27% of road deaths in 2013 were bike and pedestrian related
- 131 of the 542 NJ traffic deaths in 2013 were pedestrians; 14 were bicyclists
- NJ is 48th in funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects
- NJ has not adopted a "three-foot" passing law, adopted by 23 states.
- 70% of pedestrian deaths occur on suburban multi-lane state or county highways.
Personal injury attorney Francis M. Smith, of Mountainside, NJ, stresses statistics do not begin to communicate the pain and loss families experience when a family member has been severely injured or killed when a heavy car or other vehicle collides with an unprotected pedestrian or cyclist. "It cannot be emphasized enough how unprotected a pedestrian or a cyclist is, even if a helmet is worn," says Smith. "When a human head is hit by a vehicle or is propelled into the pavement, consequences can be severe and permanent."
Smith encourages municipalities to avail themselves of any opportunities to keep motor vehicles separated from cyclists and pedestrian. Smith has written extensively on bicycle safety. He supports some of the State's largest bicycle events, such as the Morris Area Freewheeler Revolutionary Ramble Bike Tour.
"The majority of serious injuries I encounter with bicycle accident victims involve traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, severely fractured bones, and scarring. Some wounds and broken bones heal relatively quickly, but not brain or spinal injuries; road rash many times never goes away, and the hardware that has to be used to mend severe breaks is permanently installed in the body," Smith reports. "These injuries too often result in long-term medical care, extensive rehabilitation, recurring visits to medical care providers, and a greatly diminished quality of life. It's just not fair to these folks when so many such injuries can be so easily avoided. Now towns have great opportunities to get pro-active."
The State of NJ has $20 million in grant funds available to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. Municipalities considering projects to make streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists face May 15, 2014 application deadlines. According to Cyndi Steiner, executive director of the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition, these grants are not regularly scheduled. These opportunities may not reoccur for several years. Francis Smith, Esq. lists the pending applications and due dates online to encourage towns to apply.
About Francis M. Smith, NJ Personal Injury Attorney
Francis M. Smith, Esq. handles all types of personal injury cases throughout northern NJ. More information on Francis M. Smith is available at http://www.FrankSmithLaw.com
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Francis M. Smith, Esq.
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