Improving Safety for Pedestrians and Bicyclists in North Carolina

Advocates for transportation safety have been calling for safer infrastructure in North Carolina for years. In some cities in North Carolina, pedestrian deaths continue to climb. Unfortunately, bicyclists and pedestrians continue to suffer serious injuries or become fatally injured on North Carolina intersections and streets.

Although the city of Charlotte has made some improvements in recent years to decrease bicyclist and pedestrian deaths, they still have a long way to go. in 2019, Charlotte enacted its Vision Zero Action Plan to reduce pedestrian and bicycle deaths to zero. Due to implementing safety procedures through the Vision Zero Action Plan, pedestrian deaths decreased by 17% between 2021 and 2022.

Safety Tips to Avoid Pedestrian Accidents in Charlotte

Walking is not without its risks. Even though the percentage of fatalities has decreased in recent years for pedestrian deaths in charlotte, pedestrians are still injured and killed every year. Taking time to engage in safe practices can help pedestrians protect themselves.

Use Sidewalks

Whenever possible, pedestrians should use sidewalks or walking paths. If there is no sidewalk, pedestrians should try walking on the road facing traffic. Staying on designated sidewalks can help pedestrians avoid collisions with drivers.


Pedestrians who wear brightly colored clothing and reflective vest at night are easier for drivers to see. Many pedestrian accidents happen because drivers do not see the pedestrian and stop in time to prevent a collision. When you encounter drivers, you should make eye contact with them. Making eye contact can help you ensure that the driver sees you.

Safety Tips for Drivers

Pedestrians are smaller and more challenging to see, especially at dusk and night. Many pedestrian accidents happen because drivers are distracted and not paying attention to their surroundings. Drivers have a legal obligation to always watch for pedestrians, even in areas that you do not think they would be in. Drivers should also use extra caution around schools and in residential areas they know will have a higher volume of pedestrians.

A driver should also pay attention to the speed limits. Using excessive speed makes it more difficult to maneuver out of the way and avoid colliding with a pedestrian. Following local laws can also help you avoid colliding with a pedestrian. Finally, drivers should not try to pass vehicles stopped at a crosswalk. There could be a pedestrian crossing in the crosswalk when they try to pass the vehicle in front.

Why Do Pedestrian Accidents Happen?

As with nearly any other type of accident, most are caused by negligence or recklessness. Although there are many reasons a driver may collide with a pedestrian, one factor appears in many of these preventable accidents. The driver is distracted or intoxicated. A distraction of any kind, even for five seconds, can result in the driver not seeing a pedestrian and colliding with them.

Similarly, pedestrians can also be distracted. A pedestrian may be listening to their headphones or using their phone while walking and walking into a busy intersection without the right of way. The music may cause pedestrians to miss a visual or audio clue that they are in danger. For example, they may fail to see a traffic light or not hear an approaching vehicle's engine.

Drivers have multiple temptations for distraction, including mobile phones, GPS devices, or even passengers in their vehicles. Drivers may be watching videos or talking on the phone and failing to see pedestrians. In other cases, they may be staring out the window and not paying attention to the road. When drivers are Intoxicated by drugs or alcohol, their reaction time is slower, and they are more likely to get involved in an accident.

What to Do If You Have Been Injured in a Charlotte Pedestrian Accident

If you or your loved one have been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident with a motor vehicle, it is crucial that you discuss your case with an attorney. The steps you take after an accident can help or hurt your claim. Understanding your legal rights and options can help you navigate the claims process.

Under North Carolina law, you have the right to pursue a lawsuit against the person whose negligence or recklessness resulted in the pedestrian accident that caused your injuries. You also have the right to pursue a claim for compensation through the at-fault driver's car insurance policy. Contact the skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, today to schedule a free initial consultation and learn more about how we can help you.

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