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October is National Pedestrian Safety Month in the U.S.October 15, 2022
The U.S. Department of Transportation marks October as National Pedestrian Safety Month to celebrate the right of everyone to walk and bike safely and reminds drivers of their responsibility to stay alert for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users.
While the personal, physical, and environmental benefits of walking can lead to healthier, quieter, cleaner, and safer streets, the dangers of being on foot in North Carolina or elsewhere in the U.S. is giving pedestrians pause each time they step away from their homes, offices, or while journeying to public transit.
At Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, P.A. our Charlotte pedestrian accident attorneys would like to help bring awareness to this critical issue.
Here is what our fellow North Carolinians need to know.
How Many Pedestrian Accidents Occur in North Carolina Each Year?
According to Watch for Me NC Crash Facts, each year more than 3,000 pedestrians and 850 bicyclists are hit by vehicles in North Carolina. On average, about 160 pedestrians and 20 bicyclists are killed each year in the State, representing about 15% of all traffic fatalities that occur on North Carolina roads.
In collisions with cars, pedestrians are clearly placed at a disadvantage since they have little to no protection to shield them from the force of the vehicle. That fact becomes abundantly clear during a pedestrian crash, as someone who is hit at 40 mph has an 85% chance of losing their life.
North Carolina is not the only state with grim pedestrian accident, injury, and fatality statistics.
The rest of the country is suffering from similar crash ratings.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 6,516 pedestrians were killed in the United States last year. That means a pedestrian was killed every 81 minutes, equaling an average of 18 pedestrians each day, or 125 pedestrians per week.
This year, pedestrian fatalities were projected to be up 13% over the previous year.
Safety Tips for North Carolina Pedestrians and Drivers
Whether you are walking, biking, or operating a vehicle in North Carolina or anywhere in the country, we must all look out for each other. Here are a few tips to help us all remain safe.
When you are on foot:
- Obey all traffic and crosswalk signals.
- Before crossing any street look left, right, and then left again before entering the road.
- Cross the street only at intersections or crosswalks, when available. If not, locate a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic, and enter the road to cross only when there is enough time to do so safely.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available or walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible when they are not.
- Do not assume drivers can see you. Make eye contact with any drivers before crossing.
- When walking, put away electronic devices that can distract you.
- Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your abilities and your judgment.
When you are operating a vehicle:
- Look out for pedestrians everywhere and always.
- Follow the speed limit, especially around people on the street, in school zones, and in neighborhoods where children are present.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or otherwise entering a crosswalk.
- Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks and stop well back from the crosswalk to allow other vehicles to see the crossing pedestrians so they can stop too.
- Never pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There may be people crossing where you cannot see.
- Be extra cautious when backing up and look for pedestrians.
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
At Dewey, Ramsay & Hunt, our pedestrian accident attorneys in Charlotte hope you never need us to represent you or a loved one who has been injured or killed in a pedestrian accident. If you do, we will provide the compassion, skill, and resources you need to pursue results, so you can take back control of your life.
Contact Our Knowledgeable Pedestrian Accident Attorneys in Charlotte, North Carolina
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Because every case is different, the description of awards and cases previously handled by our law firm does not guarantee a similar outcome in current or future cases.