Car Accidents; Watching Out For Pedestrians In North Carolina

As the weather turns warmer, more people will be out walking in Guilford County. It also means that the number of car accidents involving pedestrians is likely to increase.

According to The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center, reports from law enforcement indicate that on average, 500 pedestrians are seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents every year. In addition, anywhere between 100 and 200 pedestrians are killed and the total of pedestrian accidents involving vehicles is around 2,200.

A risky situation

Alcohol impaired persons, older pedestrians and children are the most likely to be involved in a pedestrian-vehicle accident according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC states that 47 percent of fatalities involve alcohol, either for the driver or the pedestrian. Statistics show that in 2010, 19 percent of fatalities were adults over the age of 65.

It is important to stress that sometimes, it is the pedestrian who is at fault for the accident. The CDC recommends that pedestrians should stay on sidewalks, use designated crosswalks as much as possible and if walking at night, should carry a flashlight to alert drivers to their presence.

How drivers can help

There are several things that drivers can do to be more alert to the presence of pedestrians, these tips include:

  • Slow down when approaching a crosswalk – Sometimes, a pedestrian can suddenly appear as if out of mid-air. By slowing down, a driver can give themselves time to react and avoid an accident.
  • Don’t pass stopped vehicles – If a car has stopped to let someone cross the street, it is important to wait patiently instead of taking a risk which could result in serious injury to a pedestrian.
  • Pay attention – When driving in areas known for pedestrian activity, such as schools and neighborhoods, it is important to keep an eye out for children who may dart out into the street.
  • Slow down when vision is limited – During bad weather and at night, a driver’s vision is limited and that means that their chance of seeing a pedestrian decreases. By reducing speed, they can increase their chances of spotting someone crossing the street or walking alongside.
  • Look before turning – When traffic is heavy, sometimes a driver will take advantage of a gap between cars. However, it is important to give the area a double check to make sure there isn’t a pedestrian in their path.

By becoming more aware of their surroundings, drivers can avoid hitting a pedestrian and improve the safety of their communities.

If you are injured in a pedestrian-vehicle accident you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you understand your rights and seek compensation for your injuries.