According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, defendant was driving 65 mph in a 25 mph zone when he lost control of his vehicle and jumped a curb, striking the victim who was on the sidewalk, walking home following an afternoon at a local bird sanctuary. Jurors sentenced defendant to 13 to 25 months in prison.
Now, as we know from recent figures released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), that was just one of just 172 fatal pedestrian accidents in North Carolina that year. While pedestrian accident deaths in North Carolina have stayed largely the same, they are inching upward in South Carolina.
Pedestrians, as defined by the agency, are any person on foot, walking, jogging, running, hiking, sitting or lying down, who is involved in a traffic accident with at least one motor vehicle. Crashes that occurred on private property (i.e., in store parking lots, etc. were excluded), so the actual number of pedestrian accidents was likely much higher.
Nationally, pedestrian accident deaths rose by 2 percent in 2014 to 4,884 from 4,779 in 2013. Researchers determined one pedestrian was killed every two hours and injured every 8 minutes in traffic collisions.
In North Carolina, there was one fewer pedestrian death in 2014 than 2013, from 173 to 172. However, they still accounted for 13.4 percent of all traffic fatalities. Which tells us they may not have climbed, but they are not falling as fast as we would like to see. The agency reported there were 1.73 pedestrian deaths in North Carolina per 100,000 population, which is notably higher than the national average of 1.53 per 100,000 population.
In Charlotte alone, there were 11 pedestrian deaths, accounting for nearly 18 percent of all traffic fatalities, with a rate of 1.36 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people. Larger cities were noted to have higher rates of pedestrian accident deaths and injuries.
In South Carolina, the number of pedestrian fatalities climbed from 100 in 2013 to 107 in 2014, a 7 percent jump – far more than the 2 percent national increase. The number of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 population also rose, from 2.09 in 2013 to 2.21 per 100,000 in 2014.
Whereas pedestrian deaths accounted for 14.9 percent of all traffic fatalities across the U.S., they accounted for 13 percent in South Carolina and 13.4 percent in North Carolina.
On a national scale, while overall traffic deaths have been falling, pedestrian accidents continue to increase. They accounted for 11 percent of traffic deaths in 2005 and now nearly 15 percent as of 2014.
So what are some of the factors driving the ongoing scourge of pedestrian accidents?
Well, we do know that certainly, distraction is an increasing problem that accounts for a significant number of accidents overall. That it plays a central role in many pedestrian accidents is evidence in the fact that pedestrians who died were more likely to have been struck by the front of the vehicle, rather than the rear, right or left side. That tells us the driver either didn’t see the person or wasn’t looking.
The vast majority of pedestrians killed – 90 percent – were involved in single-vehicle crashes. Almost 1 in 5 (18 percent) were killed by drivers who hit-and-run.
Contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
2014 Pedestrian Traffic Safety Facts, May 2016, NHTSA
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