North Carolina has several important safety measures that are intended to protect pedestrians but are often ignored by motorists and can lead to tragic results.
Continue reading to understand the extent of pedestrian injuries and fatalities in North Carolina. You’ll also learn some of the most dangerous places to take a walk in our area.
|If you were injured in a pedestrian or cycling accident, our North Carolina personal Injury attorneys are ready to help. Contact us online or give us a call at (704) 200-2009 (Charlotte) or (919) 240-4054 (Durham) to schedule a free consultation.
Pedestrian fatalities are increasing
According to statistics compiled by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 7,485 pedestrians died in 2021. That was the highest number of fatalities in a single year in the previous 40 years.
Most dangerous walkways in Charlotte and Durham
Charlotte and Durham are rated among the most dangerous places to walk, according to the “Dangerous by Design” report issued by Smart Growth America. Here’s a closer look at the numbers for each city, as well as the areas you may want to avoid if you’re traveling on foot.
Charlotte comes in at No. 44 on the Smart Growth America list of the most dangerous metropolitan areas in the U.S. for pedestrians. Between 2016 and 2020, the city saw 265 pedestrian fatalities – a death rate of 2.04 per 100,000 population. The riskiest areas to walk in Charlotte include the following.
1. Independence Boulevard
At least 26 crashes involving pedestrians have occurred on this highway since 2016. Eight of those crashes were fatal.
2. North Tryon Street
Listed as one of the most dangerous traffic spots in Charlotte, there have been 145 accidents involving pedestrians since 2012. Fatality information was not available.
3. Honeywood Avenue
There were two fatalities between 2016 and 2020. This road has a KSI (killed/seriously injured) score of 10 – which signifies this is an exceptionally dangerous place to walk.
You might be surprised to learn that the Same Growth America report ranks the Durham/Chapel Hill region at No. 60 on the list of the most dangerous pedestrian areas in the country. There were 49 pedestrian deaths between 2016 and 2020, resulting in a death rate of 1.54 per 100,000 population. These are some of the worst areas for pedestrians in Durham.
1. North Duke Street
There were 16 car accidents involving 27 vehicles on North Duke Street between West Club Boulevard and West Morgan Street in the August 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021 time period. While no pedestrian-specific numbers were available, it’s not a stretch to see how this area would be very dangerous for motorists and pedestrians alike.
2. West Club Boulevard
One of the most dangerous portions of this street for pedestrians is the intersection of West Club and Dollar Avenue. It’s the site of one of the busiest bus stops in Durham which sees about 150 boardings each day.
Although it’s a popular bus stop, It’s very inconvenient and difficult for people to try to cross between the bus stop and nearby mall – and it’s impossible for those using mobility devices such as walkers or wheelchairs. To make matters worse, motorists often speed on this four-lane stretch of road.
Between 2011 and 2019, six pedestrians and two bicyclists were struck and seriously injured in this area.
Do your part to keep pedestrians safe
If you want to do your part to help keep pedestrians safe, please keep the following tips in mind.
1. Recognize that at some point, everyone is a pedestrian
You might not give that statement much thought, but it’s the truth. You’re a pedestrian when you walk your dog around the neighborhood and when you get out of your car to walk into a store or restaurant.
Think about how you feel when cars are nearby, and one of them possibly comes a little too close for comfort. Remember that feeling when you’re behind the wheel and pedestrians are nearby.
2. If you’re running late today, follow the speed limit and leave earlier tomorrow
It seems like everyone is in a hurry, but try to keep the bigger picture in mind. Saving a few minutes on your trip isn’t worth possibly striking and killing a pedestrian. Try to remember to leave your home a little earlier next time.
3. Invest in driver assistance technology
If possible, try to make sure your next vehicle has features such as emergency braking, backup cameras, and higher-quality headlights. Any, or all, of these features could potentially save the life of at least one pedestrian.
4. Support safe roads for everyone
Try to use roads that are well lit whenever possible. This could make all the difference when it comes to helping keep pedestrians safe.
Injured while crossing the road? We can help.
The law firm of Johnson & Groninger will be ready to help you if you’ve been hit by an at-fault driver and suffered a serious injury. Our attorneys have tremendous experience in this area of the law and an impressive track record of success.
Don’t hesitate to schedule a free evaluation of your case by calling (704) 200-2009 (Charlotte) or (919) 240-4054 (Durham), or using our online contact form.