Increase in North Carolina pedestrian accidents among largest in nation

A wobble in annual updates to national pedestrian fatality statistics has raised concern with the Governors Highway Safety Association. Pedestrian fatalities have been ticking downward steadily – averaging a drop of 200 deaths a year – since 2005 when 4,892 pedestrians were struck and killed walking America’s roadways.

By 2009, that number had dropped to 4,092.
But if data collected in the second half of 2010 reflects the flat-line first half, 2010 will be the first year in the last half decade to not see a significant drop in the number of pedestrian fatalities. Even more notable, during the same time frame overall traffic fatalities fell 8 percent.

According to the GHSA, data collected between January and June 2010 and compared to 2009 stats indicate that 28 states saw their pedestrian fatality numbers drop, 18 saw increases and 5 states experienced no change.

North Carolina, with 17 more pedestrian deaths – made the short list of states that saw pedestrian fatalities number jump by more than 10.

In 2008, 155 people died in pedestrian-related North Carolina injury accidents. The North Carolina Department of Transportation reports that 10 percent of pedestrians involved in a serious car accident in 2008 died from crash-linked injuries.

Nearly 30 percent of pedestrians killed were in struck while in the crosswalk, and another 15 percent were struck and killed after darting behind a parked car. Twenty-two percent of fatalities occurred when pedestrians were walking with traffic, another 11.8 percent against traffic.

South Carolina car accidents claim one pedestrian every 3.7 days and one bicyclist every 24.4 days, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety reports.

From 2004 through 2008, 519 pedestrians were killed walking along South Carolina roads. Eight fewer pedestrians died in 2008 (101) than in 2007 (109), but fatalities hit a peak in 2006 when 125 people were killed in pedestrian-related Carolina car accidents.

The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center and The Children’s Trust of South Carolina would like to remind parents and caregivers that children model the behavior of the adults who surround them. If you demonstrate responsible pedestrian behavior, they will imitate. If you don’t, they’ll model that behavior as well.

Wearing bright (or reflective) clothing. Carrying a flashlight when walking in dark or dusk. Using crosswalks. Paying attention. Turning off the cell phone. Implementing just one of these HSRC recommendations could be a lifesaver.

The Carolina injury lawyers with Lee & Smith know that being involved in a serious or fatal injury accident, can be among the most trying times in your life. We hope that if you are involved in a serious car accident anywhere across the Carolinas, you will call us at 1-800-887-1965 or email our law offices to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights.

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