A driver who allegedly struck and critically injured a pedestrian in Charlotte was arrested by police after surrendering himself to authorities the morning after the hit-and-run crash.
The 25-year-old motorist is charged with felony hit-and-run, while the victim, a 31-year-old woman, is still fighting for her life. She was found unresponsive in the roadway, suffering from life-threatening injuries. Police report she’s being treated at the Carolinas Medical Center-Maine. She was reportedly struck while crossing the street in the crosswalk. Several witnesses to the pedestrian accident, which happened shortly after 9 p.m. on a Saturday, say the driver’s traffic signal at the time of the crash was red.
The crash remains under investigation, and authorities are working to determine whether drugs, alcohol and/or excessive speed played some role in the crash. North Carolina’s pedestrian laws stipulate that individuals in a crosswalk have the right-of-way in traffic.
Pedestrian accidents remain a serious problem not just in Charlotte, but in the entire country. Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report detailing the latest official data of pedestrian vs. car accidents, injuries and deaths nationwide.
A “pedestrian” is anyone who is on foot, walking, running, jogging, hiking, sitting or lying down. For purposes of federal research, crashes that occurred in private parking lots and driveways (and there is a significant number of those too) are excluded.
In 2015, the year on which the latest data focuses, there were 5,376 pedestrians killed and another 70,000 injured in collisions with motor vehicles. That represents a 9.5 percent uptick in the number of pedestrian deaths recorded just a year earlier. Approximately 15 percent of all the people who died in traffic crashes that year were pedestrians. Essentially, every 7.5 minutes, a pedestrian in this country is injured by a car. Every 1.6 hours, a pedestrian dies.
Most of the fatalities happened at non-intersections – about 72 percent. About 18 percent happened at intersections and the rest were at other locations such as crossing islands, shared-use paths, sidewalks or parking lanes. The majority happened at night, and they were more prevalent in urban areas. This makes some sense as urban areas are where you are more likely to find an abundance of people walking.
As far as which pedestrians are at the highest risk, federal data tended to show that the age cohort with the highest number of injuries was children between the ages of 10 and 14. More than one-fifth of children who died in traffic crashes were pedestrians. Still, the average age of pedestrians involved in serious crashes is on the rise. For fatalities, it’s up to 47 from 45, and the average age of the injured is up from 35 to 38. One in five of people who died in pedestrian accidents was over age 65.
Males tend to be at greater risk than females, though this is true for most types of car accidents.
As far as the vehicles involved, passenger cars and light trucks were the most common. Pedestrians killed in crashes with a single vehicle were most likely to be struck by the front of the vehicle. The same was not true for pedestrian crashes involving buses or large trucks, which tend more often to hit walkers with the right side of the vehicle.
But like the case recently in Charlotte, nearly one-fifth the total number of pedestrian crashes involve a driver who fled the scene. Hit-and-run crashes can be precipitated by a number of factors, but it usually has to do with the driver being drunk or not having insurance or being wanted by the law already.
If you or a loved one is involved in a pedestrian accident, our attorneys can help you determine the best way to seek compensation.
Contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
Motorist charged in hit and run that left South End pedestrian critically hurt, March 6, 2017, By Mark Price, Charlotte Observer
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Two Killed in North Carolina Motorcycle Accident When Trucker Blamed for Failure to Yield, Feb. 24, 2017, Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Blog