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Pedestrian death toll worries analysts

New Jersey residents likely know the dangers posed by not paying attention while walking in the street. According to a Governors Highway Safety Association report, 5,984 pedestrians were killed in car accidents in 2017. That is roughly the same as 2016, and there was a 9 percent increase in pedestrian deaths between 2015 and 2016. A variety of factors are attributed to the increasing number of such deaths in recent years.

Marijuana consumption and the use of smartphones are the two biggest factors according to those who have studied the matter. The increase in the number of pedestrians killed in automobile crashes comes at a time when cars are getting safer. They now increasingly come with rear-view cameras, collision warning systems and advanced braking systems. However, pedestrians and drivers both share some of the blame for the problem.

Cities such as Honolulu have outlawed the use of smartphones while crossing the street, but an analyst for Kelley Blue Book acknowledged that laws can't prevent distractions. It may be best for pedestrians to simply learn how to put their phones down. Researchers also say that drugged driving as well as poor headlight design could be contributing to pedestrian accident deaths. About 75 percent of these fatalities take place at night.

Those who are injured in car accidents may have grounds to take legal action. If a person dies in an accident, a family member might take legal action on that person's behalf. If a personal injury claim is successful, a victim or victim's family may be entitled to compensation. This may help pay for medical bills incurred, lost wages and lost future earnings. The cost of a funeral and other final expenses might be added in a wrongful death lawsuit.

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