According to a preliminary report recently released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, the number of pedestrians killed sharply increased in 2016, compared to the number of pedestrian fatalities from the year before. The report, which was released in March, examined the data collected for the first six months of last year on fatal pedestrian accidents from each state. The report projects that when all the data has been collected from the full 12 months, there could be more than 6,000 pedestrian fatalities reported – which has not happened in 20 years.
What the Report Found
When the GHSA examined data from 2010 through 2015, they found that pedestrian fatalities increased 25 percent over that five-year span. The total number of traffic fatalities also increase during that time frame, but only by 6 percent.
The preliminary data shows that the number of fatalities between 2014 and 2016 had increased by 22 percent, and also revealed an increase of 11 percent from 2015. What is causing this alarming spike in pedestrian accidents and fatalities? Safety advocates say the increased use of smartphones is a major factor in the increase, causing not only distracted driving behaviors in vehicle drivers, but also distracted walking behaviors in pedestrians. As proof of increased use of smartphones, the Wireless Association reports that the use of wireless data more than doubled between 2014 and 2015.
What Is North Carolina Doing to Prevent Pedestrian Accidents?
There are multiple state, county, and municipal programs which are all aimed at helping to reduce the number of pedestrian fatalities in North Carolina. Some of these programs include:
- Watch For ME NC: offers training, resources, media, and technical assistance to local agencies to support pedestrian and bicycle law enforcement. More than 65 police agencies have participated in the program in the past five years.
- A joint partnership between the NCDOT and NC Division of Public Health operates the statewide Active Routes to School project and the GO NC! Walking Bicycling Skills curriculum.
- Vision Zero has been adopted by the ECHS as the guiding principal in the state’s traffic safety efforts and commitment to decrease traffic fatalities by 50 percent by 2030, with the ultimate goal of zero fatalities.
Let a North Carolina Pedestrian Accident Attorney Advocate for You
If your loved one was killed in a pedestrian or other type of motor vehicle accident, contact a dedicated North Carolina wrongful death attorney to find out what legal options you may have against the at-fault party or parties. Our Carolinas injury firm understands that no amount of money can ever make up for the loss of a loved one, but we also know that families of victims killed in accidents are often left facing overwhelming financial burdens from medical expenses, funeral and burial costs, and the loss of income and benefits their loved one provided.