Vulnerable Road Users

Pedestrians and bicyclists are the most vulnerable of all road users. Because they are unprotected by an outside shield like those in motor vehicles, vulnerable road users sustain a greater risk of injury when a crash occurs. In recent years, the United States has experienced a troubling trend in increased pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities. Low-income communities and communities of color experience a disproportionate number of pedestrian injuries and fatalities.  

New Jersey’s goal is to eliminate pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities and serious injuries on all public roads. Protecting these vulnerable road users requires multiple approaches, including supporting improvements in infrastructure, adopting universal helmet laws, lowering speed limits, and enhancing education efforts to promote safe behaviors among all road users.

vulnerable road users


New Jersey is also taking a people-focused approach to help communities reduce injuries and fatalities involving pedestrians and bicyclists on its roadways with the NJ-SHO Data Dashboard. This novel data linkage allows us to compare crash rates and transportation equity measures based on where these vulnerable road users live and examine trends over time. These data also provide a more complete picture of injuries. For example, NJ-SHO research has found that bicyclist injuries are underrepresented in crash reports. When we combine hospital records with crash reports, we can better understand the kinds of injuries that vulnerable road users experience in crashes.  

 By using more than just crash data and incorporating additional information on pedestrians and bicyclists involved in crashes and where they live, the NJ-SHO Data Dashboard can help communities target the most vulnerable road users with effective countermeasures geared toward achieving safety for all.  

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