When we think of traffic accidents, most of us think of car accidents. But Carolina bicycle accidents and pedestrian accident in Charlotte and elsewhere are a real threat. These accidents often lead to very serious injuries and account for a substantial portion of fatal traffic accidents each year.
Our Charlotte personal injury lawyers encourage you to make traffic safety a dinner-table conversation as we enter 2012 and to resolve to become a better driver. In most cases, the law gives the right-of-way to bicyclists and pedestrians; consequently, motorists are most often found at fault in these accidents.
Twenty-seven cyclists were killed in accidents in North and South Carolina in 2009, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. North Carolina pedestrian accident claimed 146 lives that year while South Carolina pedestrian accidents killed 89.
And, while there has been a nationwide reduction in the overall number of traffic fatalities, reducing bicycle and pedestrian accidents has been an ongoing struggle. The U.S. Department of Transportation reported in late December that 32,885 motorists died on the nation’s roads in 2010 — the lowest number since 1949.
However, the number of pedestrians killed actually increased, from 4,109 to 4,280. And another 618 were killed in bicycle accidents. More than 120,000 bicyclists and pedestrians suffered serious injury.
When it comes to pedestrian accidents, kids and older adults are most at risk. The trend in bicycle accidents however, has been a significant increase in the number of middle-aged men who are killed. With the rising popularity of cycling for recreation and fitness, the average age of males who are killed or injured in a bicycle accident has risen to the 30s and 40s.
Highlighting the need for kids to wear bicycle helmets, the North Carolina Department of Transportation reports the Raleigh Boys and Girls Club passed out more than 50 bicycle helmets at a recent event. The helmet initiative has passed out thousands of helmets to children and is funded through the “Share our Road” specialty license plate. Twenty dollars from each sale goes to the initiative.
North Carolina law requires children under the age of 16 to wear a helmet. Statistics show that a rider wearing a helmet is 85 percent less likely to be seriously injured.
Guidelines for requesting helmets:
-Must be a government agency.
-Maximum of 24 helmets per year may be requested.
-Helmets are for distribution to underprivileged children.
-Helmets are not for personal use and may not be sold.
When it comes to preventing bicycle and pedestrian accidents in the Carolina, much is in the hands of motorists. Failure to yield is a leading cause, particularly when a vehicle is turning at an intersection or exiting a private drive. Do your part in 2012. Share the Road. And help reduce the risks for the most vulnerable travelers among us.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Dram Shop Law in North Carolina Places Liability for Drunk Driving Accidents on the Establishment Serving Alcohol to Patrons, North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, September 15, 2011.
Drunk Driving Accidents in Charlotte Often Caused by Habitual Offenders, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, July 30, 2011.