Person walking on the street

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents in North Carolina

By Jeremy Bradford
Founding Partner

Pedestrian accidents in North Carolina have garnered attention due to their impact on local communities. As roads become busier and cities denser, interactions between vehicles and those on foot are bound to increase. Familiarizing oneself with the common causes of these accidents can play an important role in ensuring safer streets for everyone.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of accidents on today’s roads. When drivers divert their attention from the road, whether due to texting, adjusting the radio, or conversing with passengers, the risk of an accident rises significantly. Such lapses in focus, even if momentary, can have devastating consequences, especially for vulnerable pedestrians. As technology continues to play an increasing role in our daily lives, it’s crucial for drivers to prioritize safety and remain attentive behind the wheel.

Impaired Driving

Impaired driving, often resulting from alcohol or drug consumption, remains a significant danger on our roads. When a driver’s judgment, coordination, and reaction times are compromised, the likelihood of causing an accident increases exponentially. Pedestrians, in particular, are at heightened risk when encountering an impaired driver. Despite rigorous public awareness campaigns and legal consequences, intoxicated driving continues to claim lives, underscoring the importance of continued vigilance and education on this critical issue.

Poor Visibility

Poor visibility conditions, such as dusk, dawn, fog, or heavy rain, can greatly reduce a driver’s ability to see and react to obstacles, including pedestrians. When the surroundings become obscured, it diminishes the time a driver has to respond to unexpected events on the road. Pedestrians are especially vulnerable during these times as they may blend into the backdrop, making them harder to spot. It’s crucial for both drivers and pedestrians to exercise extra caution and be aware of the challenges posed by reduced visibility scenarios.

Crosswalk and Intersection Issues

Crosswalks and intersections are designed to facilitate safer pedestrian crossings, but they often become hotspots for accidents. At times, malfunctioning traffic signals or poorly marked crosswalks contribute to misunderstandings between drivers and pedestrians. Furthermore, even when crosswalks are well-defined, some drivers fail to yield, either due to inattention or a misunderstanding of the rules. These lapses can lead to dangerous situations where pedestrians, assuming they have the right of way, find themselves in the path of an oncoming vehicle. Thus, both drivers and pedestrians must remain vigilant in these zones to ensure safety for all.

Speeding and Reckless Driving

Speeding and reckless driving not only endanger the driver but also everyone else on the road, particularly pedestrians. Excessive speed reduces the driver’s reaction time, making it harder to stop suddenly or avoid unexpected obstacles. Additionally, reckless behaviors, such as swerving or ignoring traffic signs, increase the unpredictability of a vehicle’s movements. For pedestrians, this can mean having little to no time to react to a speeding car, often leading to severe or even fatal outcomes. It’s essential for drivers to adhere to speed limits and prioritize safe driving behaviors to protect everyone on the road.

Pedestrian Behavior

Pedestrian behavior plays a significant role in road safety. Actions like jaywalking, crossing without looking, or using electronic devices can put pedestrians at higher risk of accidents. While many are cautious and adhere to traffic rules, lapses in judgment or distractions can lead to perilous situations on busy streets. Walking while under the influence of alcohol or drugs further impairs judgment and coordination. Thus, it’s imperative for individuals on foot to remain vigilant, make safe choices, and actively engage in practices that prioritize their safety and that of others on the road.

Preventative Measures and Safety Tips

Preventative measures and safety tips play an important role in reducing road accidents. For pedestrians, this includes wearing reflective clothing at night, using designated crosswalks, and staying alert by avoiding distractions like headphones or phones. Meanwhile, drivers can enhance safety by obeying speed limits, being extra vigilant in pedestrian-heavy areas, and avoiding driving under the influence. Adhering to these guidelines ensures a safer environment for all road users.

Get Help If You’ve Been Involved in a Pedestrian Accident

Ensuring safer streets requires a collective effort from both drivers and pedestrians. If you or a loved one has been involved in a pedestrian accident, you don’t have to face it alone. Bradford Law is here to support and guide you, ensuring your rights are protected. Don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance.

About the Author
I am Jeremy Bradford, the founding and managing attorney of Bradford Law. From my offices in Charlotte, NC, I travel all across North Carolina helping injured people fight against insurance companies, in what could be life-altering circumstances. I have made a point to develop strong relationships with my clients. I take the trust my clients put in me personally and put myself into every case. If my client calls, my client will always be able to speak directly with me. You will get to know me as we work our way through the personal injury process. So when we make recommendations on whether to settle or go to trial, you will know your best interests are always at heart.