Did you know that the Raleigh-Cary and Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord areas rank among the most dangerous pedestrian areas in the United States?
The Transportation for America organization identified the top 52 most dangerous metropolitan areas and ranked them in order by pedestrian fatality rate.
Raleigh-Cary ranked 13th and Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord ranked 17th.
Each year more than 2,400 pedestrians and 960 bicyclists are hit by cars in North Carolina. 400 of those pedestrians and 180 of those cyclists are in the Triangle area alone.
As NC pedestrian lawyers committed to helping residents that are hit by cars in Raleigh, Charlotte, and throughout the state, this troubles us deeply.
NCDOT’s actions to reduce the number of pedestrian deaths
In response to the growing numbers of pedestrian and bicycling fatalities, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) launched a campaign called “Watch for Me NC.”
Watch for Me NC is a joint effort with the UNC Highway Safety Research Center, Institute for Transportation Research and Education at NCSU, area universities, and local municipalities that’s dedicated to inform drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists how they can be safer on the road.
Police are also “cracking down” on violations relating to biking and pedestrian safety
Currently, the campaign is being piloted in several Triangle communities: Apex, Carrboro, Cary, Chapel Hill, Durham, Fuquay-Varina, Knightdale, Morrisville, Raleigh, and Wake Forest, but organizers hope to make it a statewide effort.
Tips for Safer Sidewalks
Want to stay a little safer while walking, running, or bicycling? Here are a few safety tips from the www.watchformenc.org site that may help. Pass them along to your loved ones – it could save their lives.
Safety Tips For Pedestrians
- Look for cars in all directions-including those turning left or right-before crossing the street; never assume a driver will stop.
- Be careful crossing multiple lanes of traffic. Make sure each lane of traffic is clear before you cross.
- Enhance your visibility at night. Walk-in well-lit areas, carry a flashlight, or wear something reflective, such as stickers or armbands, to be more visible.
- Avoid distraction. More and more we see people texting or talking on cell phones when crossing streets; this diminishes the ability of your two key senses-hearing and seeing-that are used to detect and avoid cars. So particularly when crossing streets, put down the phone for a few seconds.
- Be predictable to drivers and follow the rules of the road-obey signs and signals.
- Obey all pedestrian traffic signals.
- Watch for cars backing up in parking lots; brake lights can mean that a car is about to back up.
- Cross the street where you have the best view of traffic. At bus stops, cross behind the bus or at the nearest crosswalk.
- Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic and as far from the roadway as you can.
Safety Tips for Bicyclists
- Wear a helmet. It could save your life.
- Use light and reflectors when bicycling at night, and be as visible as possible.
- Ride in the direction of traffic. Drivers may not be looking for you if you are riding the wrong way.
- Obey all signs and signals. This includes stopping at stop signs and red lights.
- Use all of your senses – watch and listen for cars, particularly at intersections and driveways.
- Avoid distractions such as listening to headphones or answering phones when riding.
Hit by a car and need a lawyer?
Because pedestrians and cyclists are so unprotected, they often have the most to lose in an accident. And North Carolina’s contributory negligence law may not be on your side.