Recently in Pedestrian Accidents Category

April 3, 2014

Pedestrian Accidents Increase in North Carolina: Report


Authorities in Fayetteville are investigating the sudden death of an elderly pedestrian and the serious injury to his wife as they attempted to cross the street after sharing a meal at a local restaurant. pedestrianpictogram.jpg

The pair, visiting from Pennsylvania, were trying to cross a four-lane road while returning to a nearby hotel where they were staying. City officials have called that stretch of road one of the deadliest for pedestrians, with many travelers attempting to cross on foot back-and-forth between nearby hotels and restaurants located off the highway. A crosswalk was installed, yet the road is poorly lit and the speed limit remains 55 miles-per-hour.

Charlotte car accident attorneys understand that a recent report by the Governors' Highway Safety Association indicates that while pedestrian accidents saw an overall downward shift nationally for the first time in years, it increased yet again in North Carolina.

Continue reading "Pedestrian Accidents Increase in North Carolina: Report" »

November 17, 2013

High Visibility Enforcement for Pedestrian Laws in Carolinas


According to a recent South Carolina news report, a 36-year-old man was fatally struck by a vehicle along the roadway.

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Our Spartanburg car accident attorneys know how dangerous walking along the roadway can be and are dedicated to helping pedestrians travel safely.

A study by theUnited States Department of Transportation revealed that there were 4,280 pedestrian fatalities and more than 70,000 injuries in the United States in 2010.

Continue reading "High Visibility Enforcement for Pedestrian Laws in Carolinas" »

August 15, 2013

Safe Street Crossing for Pedestrians an Autumn Focus


Whether in a rural part of the country or in a densely populated urban center, crossing the safe street crossing can be life-saving. Teaching children to "look both ways" or "left-right-left" is only one aspect of pedestrian safety. While the first step to traffic safety for pedestrians, motorists and cycling is awareness, there are number of other safety measures that can help keep pedestrians safe.

In 2011, there were 4,432 pedestrians killed while crossing the street. This staggering figure highlights the importance of traffic safety and should make motorists more aware when approaching an intersection. Our Charleston car accident attorneys are dedicated to keeping our community safe and in bringing awareness to pedestrian safety in North and South Carolina.

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Here are several other factors to keep you and your loved ones safe when crossing an intersection:

Stay sober. While drunk-driving is an obvious safety issue, many people do not realize that 48% of pedestrian accidents involve a drunk driver or drunk pedestrian. According to the Department of Transportation, alcohol impairs walking ability, perception and judgment which could result in an accident or injury.

Use a crosswalk. It may seem self-evident to use a crosswalk, but many pedestrians think it is just as safe to run across the street at any point. Seventy percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred in non-crosswalk crossings, which means that the intersection can give a driver advanced warning and keep you safe.

Be more careful at night. While you cannot always avoid crossing a street at night, you should be extra cautious. Drivers may not see you, even if you think they can. Remember that 70% of all pedestrian fatalities occur at night.

Urban dwellers and visitors should be more careful. City life means more cars, more bikes, and more pedestrians. When living or visiting a densely populated area, pedestrians should be more cautious and not assume that a driver sees them or is going to stop. Three out of four pedestrian deaths occur in cities.

Be careful on the weekends. Thirty-nine percent of pedestrian fatalities occur on weekend nights. This may involve drinking and driving or reduced vision and distraction. When crossing the intersection on the weekends, you should pay attention to vehicles and never assume that a driver can see you.

Males may be at a higher risk. According to reports, more than 2/3 of pedestrians killed are males. They also had a higher rate of accidents in every age group, 0-85. Whether they are willing to take more risks or are more likely to be out on the street at night, males should be wary when crossing the street, especially if they have been drinking.

Nationwide, pedestrian accidents have resulted in serious injury and fatality. Victims can suffer broken bones and head injuries as well as devastating permanent injuries, including loss of brain function or paralysis. In the worst cases, accidents can be fatal to victims. Pedestrians in South Carolina should be extra wary of crossing the street--it is one of the top three states for pedestrian fatalities.

Continue reading "Safe Street Crossing for Pedestrians an Autumn Focus" »

June 28, 2013

Deadly Pedestrian Accident Raises Concerns About Safety


Recently, a South Carolina woman was killed while she was crossing the street in her wheelchair. The woman crossed at an area that was heavily traveled and that sees a lot of foot traffic. Unfortunately, despite the fact that the area sees many pedestrians, bicyclists and wheelchairs, there are no crosswalks. 1118296_crosswalk.jpg

Our Rock Hill accident lawyers know that pedestrians need to be especially careful where they cross the road. Jaywalking or crossing at an area not designated as a crosswalk can be deadly as drivers may not expect to see you and may not be able to stop their vehicles in time to prevent hitting you.

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According to WBTW, an elderly woman was crossing Mr. Joe White Avenue in her wheelchair when she was struck by a van. The accident happened late in May.

Other pedestrians who regularly travel in the same area expressed concern about whether the location was safe. One resident, for example, indicated that he normally rides his wheelchair in the bike lanes along that road because the sidewalks are very bumpy. The bike lanes are smoother and allow the pedestrian to avoid the bumps, which he indicated can bend his wheels.

Unfortunately, when any pedestrians, including those individuals in wheel chairs, move in places where motorists might not expect them, this can significantly increase the accident risk. A person who crosses outside of a designated crosswalk, whether on foot or in a wheelchair, could easily be hit by a car that has the right-of-way and that is either traveling too fast to stop or doesn't see the pedestrian in time. A person who walks or uses a wheelchair in a bike lane could also potentially cause an accident since bicyclists and drivers would not expect him to be there.

The more populated a location is and the more heavily traveled it is with cars, bikes and pedestrians, the more important it is for everyone involved- including pedestrians- to obey the rules of the road.

Pedestrians may have lots of reasons for their failure to obey the laws. For example, the absence of easily-accessible crosswalks in this particular location on Mt. Joe Avenue may have driven the victim to cross outside of a crosswalk. If the road is poorly designed or designed in an unsafe way, then the government agency responsible for road design could be potentially to blame.

In this case, however, the Public Works Department denies that more crosswalks were needed in this location. The Public Works Department said that a study was conducted several years ago and that no additional safety measures were needed. Further, representatives from the South Carolina Department of Transportation indicated that it could cost around $75,000 to add a crosswalk and pedestrian signals.

Of course, there is no guarantee that the Public Works Departments' study was accurate or was the best measure of whether crosswalks should have been present in the area or not. Further the cost should not be a hindrance to installing a crosswalk that could save someone's life.

The bottom line is that pedestrians need to obey the rules of the road, but the road also needs to be safe. If the road is not designed correctly, then the government could be partially liable for accidents that happen even if pedestrians do step outside of the normal safety standards. This would be an example of a comparative fault claim and an experienced attorney would need to be consulted by the injured pedestrian or his/her surviving family members to determine who was mostly to blame for the crash.

Continue reading "Deadly Pedestrian Accident Raises Concerns About Safety " »

April 29, 2013

Elderly at High Risk of North Carolina Pedestrian Accidents?


Not everyone understands the risks that elderly pedestrians face in North Carolina. Hendersonville does though. According to the County's "Walk Wise, Drive Smart" program, more than 30 percent of its population are elderly residents.
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Older pedestrians have a greater chance of suffering serious or fatal injuries if struck by a motor vehicle when walking than their younger counterparts. Unsafe conditions and poor transit options contribute to the risks.

Our Hendersonville pedestrian accident lawyers understand that the number of elderly killed while walking on America's road is expected to increase given the aging of the U.S. population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). By 2015, more than 15 million Americans age 65 and older will live in areas where public transportation service is poor or non-existent. That number is expected to keep growing as the baby boom generation "ages in place" in suburbs and exurbs with few mobility options for those who do not drive. And that's why officials with Transportation for America conducted the "Aging in Place, Stuck with Options" study.

Absent access to affordable travel options, seniors face isolation, a reduced quality of life and possible economic hardship

According to the study, most residents stick to where they are once they reach retirement age. When they "age in place," they're stuck in the places with poor transit systems and are forced to deal with an area that no longer accommodates their needs.

Improving transportation safety is the best way for officials to head off the problem. When transit is scarce, two feet are all that's left for many of these residents. After decades of rapid growth that focused almost exclusively on
speeding traffic, Charlotte, North Carolina officials thankfully decided that they needed to rethink their street design guidelines.

Before the roadways were redesigned, the area didn't have bike routes or a complete sidewalk network and suffered from limited connectivity and far too many cul-de-sacs. In the beginning of the 2000s, officials with the Charlotte Department of Transportation started building a street network design to help meet the needs of more travelers -- including pedestrians.

The goal was to make getting around a lot easier and safer for everyone. But is it working?

We need to be on the lookout for our elderly pedestrians -- in all areas. The reflexes and abilities of these travelers are diminishing and they're less likely to react to roadway dangers. That's why we have to stay one step ahead to help preserve their safety.

If you have an elderly family member, check in with them. Is there anything they need? If there any way you can help? Working alongside our seniors can help to preserve their safety and to keep them in our lives that much long. After all they've done for us, it's the least we can do for them.

Continue reading "Elderly at High Risk of North Carolina Pedestrian Accidents? " »

February 21, 2013

Woman Killed in South Carolina Pedestrian Accident


On Highway 17 near 23rd, an SUV struck and killed a female pedestrian. According to WMBF, the woman was a 53-year-old resident who died of multiple trauma. Reportedly, she had been homeless in the area for about two years now.
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Accident reports indicate that the woman was crossing the road with a number of other pedestrians. Reportedly, they were outside of the legal crosswalk when it all happened at roughly 6:00 p.m. The woman was wearing dark clothing when the northbound SUV hit her. Thankfully, the driver stopped and dialed 9-1-1. No charges will be filed.

Our Rock Hill pedestrian accident attorneys understand that this accident is helping to raise awareness in the community about the risks our pedestrians face. According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, law enforcement officials will be stepping up their enforcement efforts to help to make sure that pedestrians are more aware when crossing the road. It's all a part of the "SEE" campaign. It's the "Stop, Educate, Enforce" campaign. Officers are asking that all pedestrians make eye contact with drivers before trying to cross in front of them. Officials are also working to make sure that pedestrians know and understand where it is legal to cross the street.

Last year, troopers were able to make contact with more than 7,000 South Carolina walkers. The year before that, officers were only able to make contact with about 3,000 pedestrians.

Pedestrians in the area report a number of ways that they are choosing to stay safe.

"Looking both ways for each direction and judging too that I've got enough time at my speed that I can cross and not have to make a run for it and not have to make someone throw their brakes on," said resident Sandra Taylor.

Whichever way you decide that you want to stay safe out there, you've got to remember to look out for yourself. You can't always assume that motorists are going to look out for you because the truth of the matter is that we're overlooked by motorists all the time.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were close to 4,500 pedestrians killed along roadways in the U.S. in 2010. In addition to these fatalities, we saw about 70,000 pedestrian injuries because of these same incidents.

In the state of South Carolina, there were close to 100 pedestrians killed in 2010. These accidents accounted for more than 11 percent of all of our traffic fatalities for the year.

Pedestrians are asked to be safe and cautious. Your defensive traveling skills are going to be your savior -- not the habits of drivers. Unfortunately, pedestrians are commonly overlooked along our roadways. That's why it's important to make ourselves visible by wearing bright clothing and by making our walking as predictable as possible.

Continue reading "Woman Killed in South Carolina Pedestrian Accident" »

February 3, 2013

Spate of Fatal Pedestrian Crashes Reported in North Carolina


A rash of North Carolina pedestrian accidents across the state have officials issuing an urgent warning. crosswalk.jpg

Our Asheville pedestrian accident attorneys were saddened to hear that at least two of the recent three incidents proved fatal - and we're still waiting for word on the third. In so many of these cases, injuries and deaths could have been avoided if drivers had simply slowed down, paid attention and refrained from drinking.

While the details of these incidents are still under investigation, here's what we know so far:

In Asheville, police are continuing to investigate a horrific crash in which a man was struck by four different vehicles and dragged for at least five miles. He ultimately died of his injuries.

Officers say the man was struck while crossing Tunnel Road. The first driver who hit him reportedly pulled over right away. Then two other vehicles hit him. When he was hit by the fourth, a minivan, he was dragged for several miles down the road. The driver reportedly thought she had a flat tire, and did not realize a man was lodged underneath.

Police say all the drivers stopped, except one. They continue to search for that individual. Investigators believe the rainy weather may have been a factor in the incident.

Another case out of Mt. Airy, about a half-hour north of Greensboro, involved a 47-year-old man who was crossing North Carolina 89 near Beasley Street. He was reportedly struck by a sport utility vehicle driven by a 35-year-old female driver shortly after 6 p.m. It's not clear whether the driver will be charged.

The crash was the second pedestrian fatality in Mt. Airy in the last six months. Investigators say an increase in the number of pedestrians and bicycles is to blame. We say that drivers and cyclists have just as much right to be on the road - motor vehicle drivers have a responsibility to drive cautiously.

A third incident in Winston-Salem caused all lanes of U.S. 421 to be shut down for a time being after a pedestrian was struck near the South Peace Haven Road exit. Details of that crash, including the condition of the victim, who was transported to a nearby hospital, had not yet been released.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, pedestrian accidents throughout the state were increasing until about 2009, when we began to see a slight drop.

Still, far too many are seriously injured or killed each year. Every year since 2005, an average of 170 pedestrians were killed in the state and another 200 were seriously injured. Counties with the highest rates included Mecklenburg, Wake, Guilford, Cumberland and Durham. Cities with the highest rates included Charlotte, Raleigh, Greensboro, Durham and Fayetteville. Asheville ranked 7th.

The most dangerous day of the week for pedestrians was Friday, followed closely by Saturday, with the majority occurring between 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Roughly two-thirds of these incidents happened on roadways where the speed limit was less than 35 miles per hour, seeming to indicate thoroughfares where pedestrians were most likely to be found.

Continue reading "Spate of Fatal Pedestrian Crashes Reported in North Carolina" »

September 28, 2012

Crossing Pedestrian Killed on Steel Creek Road


Officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department were called out to a car accident that involved a pedestrian recently on Steele Creek Road. Accident reports indicate that the pedestrian was attempting to cross that road at the intersection of Branch Bend Lane when he was hit by a passing motorist.
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According to WSCOTV, the pedestrian was taken to the Carolinas Medical Center-Main with life threatening injuries. The driver and the three of his teen passengers were not injured in the accident. Unfortunately, the pedestrian died just a few days later as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. Officials with the Police Department and the Major Crash Investigations Unit are still investigating the accident. No charges have been filed yet.

Our Charlotte pedestrian accident lawyers understand that pedestrians are at a high risk for serious injury and even death when involved in an accident with a motor vehicle. The faster the car is going the higher these risks. With the end-of-the-year travel season approaching, we're reminding motorists to keep an eye out for pedestrians. Vehicular traffic, as well as pedestrian traffic, is expected to increase as we round out the rest of the year. It is important that you keep an eye out for pedestrians even in areas where they're least expected.

Each and every year, there are more than 2,000 pedestrians who are involved in police-reported traffic accidents in North Carolina. About 200 are killed and another 500 who are seriously injured, according to The University of North Carolina's Safety Research Center.

Over the last five year, there have been close to 12,500 collisions between motor vehicles and pedestrians reported to police. Most of these accidents happen in urban areas. About 60 percent of these accidents happened in the Piedmont region. Another 30 percent happened in the Coastal Plain counties and the last 10 percent in the Mountain region of North Carolina.

Most of these accidents involved pedestrians who were between the ages of 31 and 60. Males were also more likely to be the victims in these accidents. They accounted for more than 60 percent of the victims reportedly involved in these crashes.

Pedestrians are urged to be on the lookout when walking. You never want to assume that a driver sees you. Not only should you be aware of your surroundings at all times, but you should always make eye contact with drivers before crossing the street. Avoiding distractions while walking is important as it is while driving.

Regardless of who is out there walking, we're asking all drivers to be on the lookout. You can help to reduce the risks of these accidents and help to keep our North Carolina family safe through the upcoming holidays.

Continue reading "Crossing Pedestrian Killed on Steel Creek Road" »

August 15, 2012

Campaign Working to Protect Pedestrians in the Triangle


In the Triangle area, there are more than 350 pedestrians injured or killed in traffic accidents every year. The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area is rich with college students, families and active walkers, bikers and hikers.

To help to reduce the risks of pedestrian accidents and to make walking in the area a little safer for pedestrians, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) teamed up with a number of safety advocates to kick off "Watch for Me NC."

This is a campaign that's working to educate, raise awareness and improve roadways for the safety of our area's on-foot traffic. The project is also being assisted by the Highway Safety Research Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This campaign will be going through October.
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"Our goal is to educate drivers and pedestrians on what they can do to make our roads safer for everyone," said Paul Morris with NCDOT.

Our Chapel Hill personal injury lawyers understand that the campaign is targeting some of the most dangerous areas in the state for pedestrians, including Durham, Carrboro, Chapel Hill and Raleigh. The campaign is posting a number of pedestrian and driver-related safety messages on city buses, at gas stations, in radio and TV spots and on university campuses.

In addition to the robust publicity campaign, law enforcement officials from throughout the state will be on the hunt for those who aren't obeying pedestrian laws. They'll be particularly targeting motorists who do not yield to pedestrian in crosswalks.

In the Triangle, there are nearly 100 people hit by cars who don't stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk each year. Another 160 people are hit while walking at night. There are 100 who are hit by cars in parking lots. The truth is that drivers need to be more aware of their surroundings and pedestrians need to walk with a little more caution and awareness of safety risks. Defensive walking habits are your best bet against a potentially fatal run in with a motor vehicle.

The state of North Carolina, and the Triangle in particular, continuously ranks among the most dangerous places for pedestrians. Planning for the "Watch for Me NC" campaign kicked off nearly a year ago. It wasn't officially launched until August this month.

During this time, and well after, pedestrians are urged to practice the following safety tips. Smart travel is safe travel:

-Always lookout for cars in all directions.

-When walking at night, only walk in well-lit areas and make sure you can be seen. Wear brightly-colored clothing and reflective materials.

-Avoid engaging in distractions while walking. Keep your attention on your surroundings.

-Be predictable when walking and expect the unexpected. You can't trust the judgments of other travelers.

-Never let children walk unsupervised. When walking with young children, always hold their hand.

-Obey all traffic laws and pedestrian traffic signals.

-Keep an eye out for turning and reversing cars.

-Cross the street where you have the best view of traffic.

Continue reading "Campaign Working to Protect Pedestrians in the Triangle" »

July 13, 2012

Funds Distributed Statewide to Reduce Risks of Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents


There have been nearly 15 municipalities across the state that have been chosen to receive monetary help with their pedestrian and bicycle planning. There were nearly $400,000 in grants awarded last month by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) to help with these programs.

This is now the 9th year in a row in which the grant program has offered assistance to cities throughout the state to design and develop their own comprehensive strategies to help to make their areas more accessible and safer for both bicyclists and pedestrians.
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Municipalities that were awarded funds are scattered across the central, western and eastern regions of the state. There were approximately 20 applications that the awards committee had from which to choose. These applications were from transportation planners from across the state, including councils of government, metropolitan planning organizations and municipalities.

Our pedestrian accident lawyers understand that these programs and these kinds of systems are very important when it comes to the safety of residents and visitors statewide. Bicycle and pedestrian programs are key in helping to ensure the safety of all travelers. The municipalities that have received some of the funds are now expected to start the planning process for their new programs this fall.

Which areas received some of these funds?

-Mount Holly: Nearly $32,000 in pedestrian funds.

-Gastonia: $39,000 in pedestrian funds.

-Boone: $45,000 for a bicycle plan.

-Siler City: Nearly $25,000 in pedestrian funds.

-Chapel Hill: $57,000 for a bicycle plan.

-Angier: $20,000 in pedestrian funds.

-Fuquay-Varina: Nearly $32,000 in pedestrian funds.

-Wrightsville Beach: Nearly $25,000 in pedestrian funds.

-Southport: Nearly $25,000 in pedestrian funds.

-Clinton: $22,000 for a bicycle plan.

-Trent Woods: nearly $25,000 in pedestrian funds.

-Duck: Nearly $25,000 in pedestrian funds.

The planning initiative and grant program has been sponsored by both the NCDOT's Transportation Planning Branch and the Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation. Money for these funds has been allocated from a fund that was previously approved by the General Assembly back in 2003. Federal funds were also earmarked for these kinds of specific bicycle and pedestrian planning.

There has been nearly $4 million awarded to nearly 140 communities for this kind of planning since 2004.

During this time of the year, motorists are asked to be on the lookout for bicyclists and pedestrians, especially in areas that don't have the most ideal bicycle and pedestrian programs. Safe driving habits may be the key in helping to keep these vulnerable travelers safe on our streets. Keep an alert eye out when driving.

Continue reading "Funds Distributed Statewide to Reduce Risks of Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents" »

March 1, 2012

Charlotte Car Accident Kills Two Children


In a tragic accident that has gripped the hearts of many in the community, the lives of two young children were lost in a west Charlotte car accident.

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From what our Charlotte car accident attorneys know so far, the driver of the truck who allegedly hit the two children has been arrested and charged with two counts of misdemeanor death by a motor vehicle.

Under North Carolina statute 20-141.4, this charge is filed when someone is accused of unintentionally causing the death of another person with a vehicle while they are breaking another state or local law regarding the operation of a vehicle or the violation of a traffic law. It doesn't include deaths caused by a drunk driving, which would be a separate, more serious, offense.

According to NewsChannel 36, the 1 and 5-year-old siblings were walking with their dad near the intersection of West Tyvola Road and Shady Lane around 8 in the morning. Also with them was their baby sister. They were on their way to daycare. That's when a box truck traveling toward the intersection, struck the two boys and killed them.

The infant girl and her father were not seriously injured, according to news reports.

There had been no sidewalk alongside the road where the family was walking. One neighbor who was interviewed by a local news team said it was "only a matter of time" before someone was seriously hurt or killed on the roadway.

In that specific area, media reports indicate there have been two prior pedestrian crashes. The city's department of transportation said it had identified the need for a sidewalk along the roadway, but there wasn't enough in the city's budget to pay for construction or even design.

A witness to the horrible accident said the driver of the truck did not move to help the children after the crash. One man worked to perform CPR on one of the boys, but to no avail.

The crash is being investigated by both the North Caroline Highway Patrol and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police.

The daycare's director was quoted as saying that the children were great kids, and the loss is one that weighs heavy on their hearts.

According to SafeKids.org, the number of pedestrian accidents across the country averages out to about 355 child pedestrian deaths annually. That is for children under the age of 14. Another 15,500 children are injured as a result of being struck by vehicles.

What many motorists may not understand is that children, especially those younger than 10, aren't able to accurately determine their risk of injury. It is critical for parents to discuss these dangers with their children so that the risks are mitigated.

Here are some additional statistics on child pedestrian accidents to keep in mind:

  • Of the children who were killed in pedestrian accidents, more than two-thirds were males;
  • Vehicle back-overs were listed as the cause in more than 100 deaths of children younger than 4.
  • More than 40 percent of children who are fatally struck by vehicles are hit between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Continue reading "Charlotte Car Accident Kills Two Children" »

December 10, 2011

Charlotte Parking Lot Accidents Common at Malls, Outlets During Holiday Shopping Season


As we muddle through the busiest shopping period of the year, our Charlotte car accident lawyers want to remind motorists to use extra caution in parking lots filled with anxious or distracted pedestrians. Parking lots are packed with vehicles and shoppers this time of year, which makes the risk of being involved in a parking lot accident in Greensboro, Charlotte or elsewhere all that more heightened compared to shopping under normal circumstances.
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A recent parking lot accident at a Home Depot in Maryland is a reminder of how easily accidents can lead to serious or fatal injuries. The Baltimore Sun reports a 79-year-old driver experienced a medical emergency while he was driving through a Home Depot parking lot that caused him to hit six people. The victims were transported to the hospital with injuries, but two have reportedly died from the Thanksgiving Day accident at the Hyattsville Home Depot. The conditions of the other four victims remain undisclosed. The accident is under investigation and no charges have been filed against the driver to date.

For some odd reason shoppers tend to throw courteousness out the window this time of year. Whether it is the shortened time period to cross everything off the shopping list or the race to get to the best sales event, people can get a little aggressive and unruly. When this behavior gets transferred to operating a vehicle, it can put pedestrians at risk of severe injury while walking in the parking lot to and from their vehicle.

To help reduce levels of agitation and encourage a little common courtesy in the spirit of giving, we offer these etiquette tips to help reduce parking lot incidents:

-Drivers should not block other cars behind them while waiting for a parking space near the store entrance to open.

-Pull into a parking space by centering the vehicle with equal space on either side. Pull forward so that the rear end of the vehicle doesn't hang out and block the view of other motorists as they try to see around it.

-If a space is too small to fit into, look for another parking spot. Trying to cram in to a small spot is dangerous and can lead to vehicle damage or personal injury.

-A driver has many blind spots in a parking lot so be aware of these as you maneuver around pedestrians and vehicles.

-Watch for speed limit signs and one-way indicators. Always follow the speed limit and follow the direction indicated by signs and markings on the pavement.

-Stop or yield to oncoming or crossing foot traffic and vehicles.

-Always use a turn signal when making a turn or pulling into a parking spot.

-Never leave a cart or dolly in the parking spot when you are done shopping. Not only can it be aggravating to other motorists attempting to pull into a space when spots are limited, but it can also cause vehicle damage when left unattended.

-Resist aggressive behaviors by not honking the horn or making inappropriate gestures to pedestrians or other motorists.

-Never create your own parking space. It is illegal and dangerous.

Continue reading "Charlotte Parking Lot Accidents Common at Malls, Outlets During Holiday Shopping Season" »

November 25, 2011

Elizabeth Area Deemed a Dangerous Spot for Charlotte Pedestrians


Our Charlotte car accident attorneys posted about a female pedestrian who was struck and killed in the Elizabeth area by a drunk driver recently on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog. Much of the community and local businesses are disturbed by the accident. So much so, that they are vehemently trying to push the City of Charlotte into adding safety measures to prevent further accidents from occurring in this dangerous section of roadway.
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WSOC-TV reports that the stretch of 7th Avenue between Pecan Avenue and Hawthorne Lane has been repeatedly dangerous for Charlotte pedestrian accidents because there is no crosswalk located at a popular crossover area. In addition, the visibility to see oncoming traffic is limited, so making it across the street safely becomes a challenge.

Following an investigation by the Charlotte Department of Transportation, a proposal was drawn to help make this area safer. According to the article, some of the highlights of the Elizabeth Area Plan proposal include:

-Making several changes at the intersection of East 7th Street at North Caswell Road and Pecan Avenue to help pedestrians cross safely. Suggestions for improved safety features would include changing the geometric design, implementing crosswalks at all legs of the intersection, installing countdown signals and curb ramps for pedestrians, and using leading clearance interval signals for pedestrians.

-Implementing more crossing areas for pedestrians at East 7th Street, Pecan Avenue and North Caswell Road.

-Devising a plan for traffic calming measures in the highly congested area for pedestrians and motorists. One method would be to create mid-block crossings on East 7th Street so that pedestrians don't have to walk down to the corner to cross the street.

One reason this particular area is dangerous is because traffic goes zipping by and pedestrians have very little time to get to the other side in between passing vehicles. TrafficCalming.org explains that this safety measure in highly congested areas can be beneficial because it forces vehicles to slow down and gives pedestrians a shorter distance to walk to safety. Examples of traffic calming safety measures include: narrowing streets, placing street islands in the middle of a multiple-lane road, landscaped curb bump outs, roundabouts, and speed humps. Essentially anything that can get a motorist to slow down, be more alert, and shorten the distance that a pedestrian needs to get to a safe area can help calm a congested traffic area.

The City Council recently met and voted to adopt the Elizabeth Area Plan. The overall goal is to create a more inviting pedestrian environment in an area that thrives in restaurants, pubs, retail storefronts and business establishments.

The responsibility lies with transportation departments and local governments to make sure pedestrians aren't put at risk of injury every time they attempt to cross the street. Motorists can do their part by slowing down and using caution at intersections where congested pedestrian traffic is expected.

Continue reading "Elizabeth Area Deemed a Dangerous Spot for Charlotte Pedestrians" »

November 9, 2011

Daylight Saving Time Increases Risks for Nighttime Car Accidents in Gastonia, Elsewhere


The Republic reports that with Daylight Saving Time now in effect, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) wants to remind motorists that fewer daylight hours means an increased risk for car accidents in Gastonia, Hickory, Winston-Salem and elsewhere in the state. Not only are motorists short on daylight hours for their evening commute, but bicyclists and pedestrians need to be more careful to avoid an accident while walking or biking in the dark.
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North Carolina residents turned their clocks back by one hour Sunday morning, meaning evening commutes are now a lot darker starting this week and continuing through the next few months with the sun setting earlier each night. Greensboro car accident lawyers know adjusting to the time change affects your body and mind and can even be somewhat depressing. But using extra caution during dark hours will help keep you safe on North Carolina roadways until we "spring forward" in just a few months from now.

In 2010, the North Carolina Department of Transportation reported that there were nearly 190 bicyclists and 875 pedestrians involved in car accidents during dusk and nighttime hours. There were another almost 16,500 accidents involving animals during the hours of darkness.

Driving in the dark can be tricky, especially this time of year when deer and other critters can potentially pop out from nowhere right in front of your vehicle. We posted last month on our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog that deer will be on the run as hunting season approaches. So be on the lookout for them dashing across your path to help avoid a collision and possible injuries.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation offers these tips for motorists to keep in mind as they drive in Daylight Saving Time:

-Coincide changing your clocks back one hour with checking all lights on your vehicle. For instance, check brake lights, emergency flashers, headlights, and even interior lights to make sure they are working properly. You may need to take your vehicle to a mechanic if a fuse or bulb needs replaced.

-Use high-beam lights in rural areas but be courteous to approaching vehicles by flashing to low beams while you pass.

-If your rear-view mirror has a night setting, use it to avoid glare from car lights shining behind you.

-Never wear sunglasses after dusk.

-Keep a watchful eye for bikers and walkers after dark, especially as winter weather approaches.

-If you feel drowsy from the time change, avoid long trips or driving while fatigued.

-Focusing your eyes on one spot in front of you causes "highway hypnosis" which reduces your reaction time if a hazard appears on the road. Keep your eyes active by moving them back and forth to reduce the risk of reaction impairment.

Continue reading "Daylight Saving Time Increases Risks for Nighttime Car Accidents in Gastonia, Elsewhere" »

October 18, 2011

Halloween Increases Risks of Car Collisions with Trick-or-Treaters in Winston-Salem, Gastonia


Halloween can be a scary time for kids, literally, because they are at considerable risk of being struck in a car accident in Winston-Salem, Gastonia, or elsewhere in the state. Motorists may find small trick-or treaters difficult to spot because the activity occurs at dusk or dark when visibility is limited.
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Our Asheville car accident attorneys want to remind motorists that October is Halloween Safety Month so be mindful of children walking to help reduce the risk of causing severe injury.

American College of Emergency Physicians reports that Halloween is the most dangerous day of the year for pedestrian accidents involving young children. For children under age 16, 38 percent of all pedestrian accidents happen between 3 and 7 p.m., which is prime time for trick-or-treating. Children walking at night in a costume can inhibit their ability to see, presenting a high risk for a fall accident. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are the most dangerous days of the week for pedestrian deaths, especially when Halloween falls on one of these days. Even though Halloween is on a Monday tris year, don't let your guard down.

Research is limited when it comes to the dangers of pedestrian deaths on Halloween but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at data from 1975-1996 and determined that children were four times more at risk of a pedestrian accident involving a motor vehicle on Halloween than any other night of the year. Data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) narrowed down the number of pedestrian deaths involved in a motor vehicle crash on October 31 between 4 and 10 p.m. From 1975-1996, researchers found that 89 deaths occurred for children between the ages of 5-14 years old. This equates to an average of four deaths per year on Halloween between 4 and 7 p.m. for this age group.

AAA Exchange offers these Halloween safety tips:

To Motorists

-Use peripheral vision to be alert for children on front yards or walking away from the front porch of a house.

-Use extra caution when pulling into or out of private driveways or alleys.

-Use your headlights, even during daylight hours, so that your vehicle becomes more visible.

-Be prepared for children crossing streets mid-block and not at a designated crosswalk.

-Keep an eye out for children walking on sidewalks, curbs, medians and roadways.

To Trick-or-Treaters

-Avoid wearing a costume with a mask that covers your entire head when possible. Use nontoxic face paint to avoid problems with vision.

-Props should be blunt-tipped and flexible to avoid serious injury if a fall occurs.

-Place reflective tape on your costume if you plan to go out at night. Reflectors make children more visible.

-Never shine a flashlight into the eyes of a motorists, instead place it face down in your treat bucket.

-Choose homes that are clearly participating in Halloween activities with well-lit porches or driveways.

-Always trick-or-treat with an adult present.

Keep your children safe this Halloween by going over some helpful rules and tips to help them avoid being struck by a car. Remind them to steer clear of vehicles by crossing at intersections and making themselves visible at all times.

Continue reading "Halloween Increases Risks of Car Collisions with Trick-or-Treaters in Winston-Salem, Gastonia" »