Realities for pedestrians in North Carolina

Pedestrians face serious risks of being hit by vehicles every time they set out on foot in North Carolina.

Every person in North Carolina can be a pedestrian at some point. When on foot, Dunn residents must navigate the dangers associated with sharing roadways with a myriad of vehicles. This is so whether out for a jog or simply walking from a car across a parking lot. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pedestrians are one and a half times more likely to die if involved in an accident that their counterparts in vehicles.

CDC records also show that across the country, one pedestrian is injured every seven minutes and one pedestrian is killed every two hours. In 2012, roughly 76,000 pedestrian injuries were recorded and another 4,743 pedestrians lost their lives in accidents.

In addition, the AAA Exchange cites a statistic from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reporting that pedestrians accounted for 14 percent of all vehicular fatalities in 2012.

North Carolina's statistics

Data from the NHTSA show that 1,289 people died in North Carolina in 2013. Of those, 173 were pedestrians. Harnett County was the site of two of those pedestrian deaths out of its total 27 vehicular fatalities. Neighboring Wake County had the most number of pedestrian fatalities in the state that year with 14 such deaths.

Information for other counties bordering Harnett County includes the following:

  • In Cumberland County, nine pedestrians died.
  • Three pedestrians died in each of the following counties: Johnston, Chatham, Lee and Sampson.
  • Two pedestrian deaths happened in Moore County.

A report by WCTI12.com indicates that in Greenville, more than 50 pedestrian accidents have taken place over the past two years. The city is so concerned about pedestrian safety that it is embarking on a joint program with the North Carolina Department of Transportation aimed at reducing these accidents. A total of 15 intersections will be upgraded with this purpose in mind.

How can pedestrians improve their safety?

Whether during the day or at night, pedestrians should be aware of their surroundings and find ways to make themselves more visible to drivers. This can include wearing bright colors, carrying a flashlight or wearing a headlamp. Crossing streets at designated crosswalks or intersections versus in the middle of the street is also helpful.

The reality for pedestrians, however, is that not all accidents can be avoided. Negligent drivers can still hit innocent victims and cause serious injuries or death. When these accidents do happen, injured persons or their family members should always talk to an experienced lawyer for help.

Keywords: pedestrian, accident, injury