A warm weekend in Southeastern Virginia raised the risks for pedestrians in Norfolk and Virginia. Over the 48 hours of February 22-24, 2018, at least five people were hit by vehicles while walking.
The dangerous two-day stretch for pedestrians in Southside Hampton Roads started in Norfolk, when a vehicle collided with a woman and child on May Avenue. A news report on the crash gives the impression that the driver had just turned from Tidewater Driver before striking the pedestrians.
Then, at around 6:30 pm the following evening, an adult male suffered life-threatening injuries when a car hit him in the 1100 block Virginia Beach Boulevard. The site of that crash is close to the intersection with N. Birdneck Road.
With one more day left in the weekend, a third driver hit a man and woman who were crossing Pacific Avenue at 34th Street near the Oceanfront. The woman sustained serious injuries, and the man was admitted to the hospital in critical condition.
The drivers remained at the scenes of each crash. It is unclear if any of the drivers will face charges for causing the collisions.
Public information on each of these pedestrian crashes is limited, but my Virginia personal injury lawyer colleagues and I know that pedestrians very often depend on the attention and respect of drivers to avoid injuries or worse. During 2015, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles received reports of 1,704 crashes involving pedestrians. Those wrecks injured 1,704 pedestrians and killed another 78, meaning that every crash injured or killed at least one person.
Crosswalks and sidewalks are present at each of the locations where the listed collisions occurred, giving drivers many legal duties to watch for and yield to pedestrians. Drivers must also allow pedestrians to move through an intersection before they turn, and they must generally wait for pedestrians when driving in parking lots.
We hope each of the people hit and hurt in this rash of pedestrian crashes in Norfolk and Virginia make full and quick recoveries. We also want to take this opportunity to remind all drivers to watch for pedestrians at all times, but especially in residential neighborhoods like where May Avenue and Tidewater Drive intersect, and in tourist areas like Pacific Avenue and 34th Street, and in retail corridors like the intersection of Virginia Beach Boulevard and Birdneck Road. Just a little heightened alertness can prevent a disabling or deadly collision.