New Analysis Calls for Improvements in Tracking Pedestrian Fatalities in New Jersey

A new Tri-State analysis shows that if you are a pedestrian in South Jersey, you are at greater risk of getting killed by a vehicle than pedestrians in northern New Jersey—or the nation as a whole. Coupled with national data that shows that minorities tend to walk more than the overall population, there could be startling, and useful, deductions made at the local level—if the right data were available.

The new report, Pedestrian Fatalities in Southern New Jersey, shows how the unavailability of racial and ethnic data in pedestrian fatality reporting at the local level makes it difficult to determine the pedestrian fatality rates of these population groups. Without this information, it is difficult to target safety campaigns and infrastructure improvements toward populations that may experience higher pedestrian fatality rates.

Transportation for America’s 2011 report Dangerous by Design notes that minorities tend to walk more than the overall population and are at greater risk of being killed on unsafe roadways than non-Hispanic whites. Their report showed that this trend held true in New Jersey for the period between 2000 and 2007. But, it’s a challenge to drill down to the risk at a regional or local level because racial and ethnic data is not uniformly reported in pedestrian fatality databases.