March 9, 2005

Walking in the Garden State.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jim @ 9:47 pm

It is widely recognized that regular walking is a good thing for one’s health, except maybe in New Jersey, where it turns out that more pedestrians are killed in traffic accidents than in any other state except for New York and, oddly enough, Hawaii. As a regular walker, this troubles me, but it does not surprise me in the least.

Unlike states like California (at least in Los Angeles) and, I presume in other states as well, where the rule is that a driver must stop if he sees a pedestrian at an intersection waiting to cross, in New Jersey pedestrians are fair game.

Stopping is out of the question. Indeed, drivers in this state routinely do the mental calculus necessary to determine whether it’s even necessary to slow down when a pedestrian is crossing the street in the driver’s path. ”Why show down? He’ll be outta da way by the time I get there.” Of course, if the computation of the relative speed of the pedestrian and vehicle is incorrect, the pedestrian who began walking across the street will have to break into a life-saving sprint to reach the other side. Similarly, if the driver miscalculates and the pedestrian is unable to do the emergency sprint or is unlucky enough to stumble, the pedestrian and vehicle collide, with “victory” always going to the vehicle.

Therefore, I would advise anyone who visits the Garden State and decides to take a stroll not presume that you have the right-of-way. Better to assume that you are in the crosshairs.

Jersey – Only the Strong Survive.


  1. Dayum…Be careful out there.

    I have sequel plans for you…

    ; )

    Comment by Christina — March 9, 2005 @ 11:29 pm

  2. Another reason for the high ambulatory mortality rate here is that everyone knows that *if* there’s a street sign and *if* you can read it, it’s most likely wrong. Driver’s heads are swiviling like Linda Blair. Schmack.

    Comment by Sluggo — March 9, 2005 @ 11:30 pm

  3. Modern day survival of the fittest. Weed out the slow pokes. Nobody walks here – we all have trucks.

    Comment by Dash — March 9, 2005 @ 11:38 pm

  4. I think a reason NJ and Hawaii are high is due to retirees and an older population. I think NJ has a very high percent of senior citizens. Older people aren’t fast enough to dodge the oncoming traffic. Plus I think you get more points for hitting a senior citizen. At least I think you did in that old video game where you ran over the pedestrians and a little tombstone popped up after you whacked them.

    Comment by roberto — March 10, 2005 @ 7:19 am

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