Are Pedestrian Accidents in North Carolina Getting Worse?
Pedestrian accidents are a major public safety issue in North Carolina. This type of crash occurs when a vehicle hits a pedestrian, typically one who is crossing the street or walking on the sidewalk. Pedestrians can also be hit in neighborhoods or while walking in parking lots.
There have been multiple fatal pedestrian accidents over the past month. On November 22nd, only a day before Thanksgiving, a 74-year-old woman was killed in a pedestrian accident in Lillington. According to law enforcement, the woman was struck by a logger truck that had failed to yield. Police are investigating the accident. Another pedestrian accident had occurred three days prior. On November 19, a 48-year-old man was struck and killed by a vehicle while crossing a street in Fayetteville.
Not all pedestrian accidents are fatal. In early November, a man was rushed to the hospital in critical condition after being hit by a vehicle while crossing Holloway Street at Hoover Road in Durham.
What are Possible Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in North Carolina?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) maintains that pedestrian accidents are more likely to occur in the late afternoon and at intersections. Motorists may fail to see pedestrians. Pedestrian accidents may also occur for reasons that include but are not limited to:
- Drunk driving: We discussed a fatal pedestrian accident involving a suspected drunk driver on Monday’s blog. Alcohol-impaired motorists can be responsibl fore pedestrian accidents. Depending on a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC), they may have slower reaction times, difficulty detecting danger and poor coordination. These factors can increase the risk of colliding with pedestrians.
- Distracted driving: Drivers may fail to yield to a pedestrian if they are distracted by their smartphones. Distractions that increase the risk of an accident can also include talking to other passengers, fidgeting with the radio, grooming and eating.
- Speeding: Drivers who are speeding need more time to stop before colliding with a pedestrian. Speeding is a common cause of pedestrian accidents, especially in neighborhoods and parking lots. Higher vehicle speeds increase the severity of injuries or chances of death.
- Failing to obey traffic laws: Motorists who ignore traffic signs or signals are more likely to hit pedestrians, especially at intersections. In other cases, motorists may not yield to pedestrians.
These are only a handful of reasons why pedestrian accidents occur. It may be possible for a survivor or their family members to secure damages from the parties responsible for the accident. The North Carolina personal injury lawyers at Riddle & Brantley, LLP have experience helping victims of pedestrian accidents.