Report: Charlotte Pedestrian Deaths Spike in Charlotte

Pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. reached the highest they have been in 40 years, according to a new study. Charlotte has not been immune to this trend, and neither have the Carolinas as a whole. crosswalk

The study, conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association, revealed the total figure of pedestrians who lost their lives last year rose by 11 percent as compared to the year before. There were a total of 620 MORE deaths last year than in 2105. That brings the total of 2016 pedestrian accident deaths nationally to nearly 6,000.

As noted by the study author, this is the second year now that there has been an “unprecedented” uptick in pedestrian deaths. This is not only alarming and tragic, and inspires anger when you consider the majority of these deaths did not have to happen. They were preventable, most often the result of a driver who was careless or reckless. Distracted driving is believed to play a significant role in the increasing number of deaths. 

The GHSA analyzed data from the first half of 2016. North Carolina and South Carolina were among the dozens of states that saw an increase in pedestrian deaths in the first six months of last year.

That means the breakdown of deaths over the last three years is as follows;

  • 2016 – 5,997
  • 2015 – 5,376
  • 2014 – 4,910

In North Carolina, there were a total of nearly 100 pedestrian deaths in the first six months of 2016. That was a 25 percent uptick as compared to the first six months of the previous year. In South Carolina, there was a 16 percent increase in the first six months of last year, with officials reporting 66 pedestrian deaths during that time frame.

Police in Charlotte-Mecklenburg reportedly investigated 20 reported pedestrian deaths last year. That is more than double the pedestrian accident deaths reported the year before  (9), and it’s the most that has been reported since 2012, when there were 21.

Nationally, we’re reaching levels of pedestrian deaths we haven’t seen since the 1990s, and which were more common in the 1980s, when there was even less awareness and a lack of technology features such as backup cameras.

One of the major issues cited in the survey were drunk drivers and people failing to obey pedestrian laws. The latter included statutes such as only crossing at crosswalks and only beginning to walk when there is a signalized white walk light on.

So far in this year (as of April 15th), there have been seven pedestrian deaths – which is more than what we saw for this same time frame in 2015. Across North Carolina, there have been 35 pedestrian accident deaths to date.

The local police have conducted a lot of educational and awareness programs in local schools, and periodically runs public awareness campaigns at areas known to be busy pedestrian sites. One of those public awareness campaigns, which you may have seen, is called, “Watch for Me NC.” Officers distribute florescent shoulder bans and arm bands and distribute safety tips. They also issue warning citations. During one such operation in December, police in Charlotte issued drivers 33 warnings in the course of 75 minutes – all of whom failed to yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.

Given those numbers, it’s rather unsurprising that the number of pedestrian deaths is so high.

Contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:

Pedestrian deaths rising in Charlotte. In US, they hit highest rate in 40 years, April 15, 2017, By Adam Bell, Charlotte Observer

More Blog Entries:

N.C. Appeals Court: City Not Immune From Liability in Slip-and-Fall Injury Lawsuit, April 3, 2017, Pedestrian Accident Lawyer Blog

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