Pedestrian Accidents on the Rise in North Carolina
The increase in gas prices has led to several people looking for alternative methods of transportation. This means that there are more bicyclists and pedestrians on North Carolina roads than in previous years. More people out and about increase the potential for pedestrian accidents, which can lead to serious injuries. According to “Watch for Me NC,” a campaign on pedestrian safety by a collaborative group of state and agencies, over 400 people are struck in pedestrian accidents each year. Out of this 400, roughly 350 are injured or die as a result of the accident.
Because these accidents are easily preventable, the state is trying to get the word out on how to reduce the high number of injuries and deaths. One surprising reason for the number of accidents is actually the weather. The change of seasons, from summer to fall, will often result in more people being injured in pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents than during other times of the year. Children might be headed toward a nearby school bus or to school itself, and college campuses will be filled with students walking to and from class. Pedestrians can take several steps to prevent a pedestrian accident from occurring. They should always cross in crosswalks, or other designated crossing areas. Also, if crossing at a stop sign or stop light, pedestrians should make eye contact with drivers so that the motorists know the pedestrian will be crossing. Pedestrians will also want to be sure to wear bright colors or reflective clothing at night, so that drivers can easily see them.
It is important for walkers and cyclists to be paying attention when crossing or riding on streets. One of the most frequent causes of pedestrian accidents is “distracted” walking or riding. Many individuals may be listening to music and be unaware that they are about to be struck by a vehicle. Motorists should also take some time to understand some of the things that they can do to help improve pedestrian safety. Knowing the rules of the road and who has the right of way is an important first step. Drivers should also signal any turns that they are making, especially if they will be headed toward a crosswalk. Pay increased attention around intersections, schools and bus stops. These areas often have a high concentration of foot traffic, and motorists need to stay alert. However, sometimes accidents happen. If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to understand the options that may be available to you. Do not simply settle your case, as insurance companies are not on your side. You may have injuries that require expensive care, and you do not want to be left paying for this on your own.