Pedestrians in Charlotte at Risk of Being Struck by Alcohol Impaired Drivers

A recent fatal accident involving a drunk driver and a pedestrian in North Charlotte has our car accident lawyers in Charlotte reminding pedestrians to use extra caution as you cross the street to avoid being hit, especially by a driver who is too impaired to see you.

WBTV reports the tragedy occurred at the intersection of North Tyron Street near Guy E. Suddreth Avenue. Local police officials report the female pedestrian in her mid-50’s stepped off the curb while attempting to cross the street and was hit by an impaired driver driving a Honda Accord.
The driver left the scene, stopped at a nearby parking lot and then returned to the location of the accident. The pedestrian was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead within hours of the tragic event. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police placed the driver under immediate arrest after conducting a field sobriety test, which indicated the driver was impaired. The driver is being charged with involuntary manslaughter, driving while impaired, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 146 fatal pedestrian accidents in North Carolina in 2009. Another 363 deaths occurred in North Carolina in 2009 because of an impaired driver getting behind the wheel. North Carolina averaged 163 pedestrian fatalities and 427 alcohol-related deaths over the course of five years from 2005-2009.

Pedestrians are at considerable risk of injury because they are completely exposed and have very little time to react to a moving vehicle right before an accident takes place. Collisions can happen so quickly but result in a lifetime of medical costs and changes in lifestyle. Sharing roadways safely becomes a necessity because many people use walking as a means of transportation, as a means to become healthier or for pure enjoyment.

The University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center offers the following simple tips for pedestrians:

  • Make eye contact with drivers before stepping into city streets or roadways.
  • Avoid crossing multiple lanes whenever possible, especially on busier, faster paced streets and highways.
  • Never walk in the road if sidewalks are available.
  • Avoid walking in dark clothes late at night.
  • Call for a cab or a ride if you have been drinking. Walking while intoxicated is dangerous.
  • Motorists should:
  • Look for hidden pedestrians that may be stepping out from behind or inside a car.
  • If a vehicle is stopped for a pedestrian, don’t be impatient by choosing to speed around them rather than wait.
  • Slow your rate of speed in neighborhoods or near schools and parks.
  • Never drive under the influence – you have so many other options available.
  • When waiting to make a left or right turn, double check there are no pedestrians in the vicinity before turning.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a drunk driver in Greensboro, Charlotte, Asheville or the surrounding areas, contact the car and pedestrian accident attorneys at Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free no-obligation appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:

Pedestrian hit and killed by drunk driver, police say, by Kristin Cronenberger, WBTV

Raleigh-Cary Ranks Sixth in Nation for Fatal Pedestrian Accidents, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, January 7, 2011

Alcohol and Speeding to Blame for Many Charlotte Car Accidents, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, June 23, 2011

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