Although pedestrian auto accident deaths in North Carolina are below the national average, the number of these incidents is on the rise. According to a June 2019 report in The News & Observer, the state has seen a 54% increase in these types of fatalities since 2009.
Protect yourself and your loved ones by remembering these safety tips when traveling on foot.
Avoid drinking and walking
The article above cites data from the North Carolina Department of Transportation, reporting that alcohol consumption plays a role in 30% of pedestrian auto accident deaths. Although you may think that you are staying safe by walking home from the bar or a party instead of driving, consider calling a taxi or getting a ride from a sober friend instead.
If drivers cannot see you, they cannot avoid you. If you need to walk at night, carry a flashlight, and stick to well-lit roads when possible. Choose bright-colored or light-hued clothing to improve your visibility, or place reflective tape on your garments if they are dark in color.
Follow the rules of the road
Walk on the sidewalk wherever one is available. If you need to walk in the road, stay as far to the right as possible and travel in the opposite direction as traffic. Facing drivers makes it easier for them to see you. Only cross the road at designated crosswalks, and obey all traffic signals and signs.
Like drinking, distractions can be as dangerous for pedestrians as they are for drivers. Do not walk while wearing headphones, because you will be unable to hear traffic. Using your electronic device while walking takes your eyes off the road and your attention off your task, increasing the risk for an auto accident injury.
Despite your efforts, accidents do occur. If you suffer a serious injury as a pedestrian, the driver may be responsible for your financial damages if he or she caused the crash.