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WalkBikeNC attempts to reduce injuries and deaths for pedestrians

North Carolina is a beautiful state to live in. It's warm almost all year, which means that pedestrians can jog, walk and run, ride bikes and otherwise enjoy the outdoors every season.

Unfortunately, there are a great number of pedestrian and cyclist crashes that happen each year. Since there is such a high risk of pedestrian crashes, the state implemented WalkBikeNC in 2013. This is a comprehensive plan for improving cycling and walking conditions all around the state.

What is the purpose of WalkBikeNC?

WalkBikeNC has the sole purpose of investing into the bicycling and walking conditions across North Carolina. It also looks into how these relatively low-cost changes can:

  • Provide better walking and cycling connections between schools, parks, trails and neighborhoods
  • Increase property values
  • Encourage tourism
  • Foster local businesses through improved foot traffic
  • Promote mental, social and physical well-being by creating safe outdoor spaces

The plan has five pillars. It looks at safety as one of them.

North Carolina has around 200 cyclists and pedestrians die each year as a result of automobile crashes. On the last report released in 2014, it was shown that North Carolina was 42nd and 46th worst for pedestrian fatalities and cyclist fatalities in the United States. With WalkBikeNC, the goal is to reduce the crash rate for cyclists and pedestrians, so that people can feel more confident walking and biking in North Carolina.

What steps will the state take to reduce the risk of collisions?

The program has several steps. Some include the "Complete Streets" program, which ensures connected, safe and accessible bicycle and pedestrian walkways, law enforcement involvement to improve crash data collection, educating the community, advocates and law enforcement, and more. Partners of the program include law enforcement officers, hospitals, local governments, BikeWalkNC and others.

What do you need to do if you are hit by a vehicle in North Carolina?

If you are hit by a car, you need to make sure that you call 911 and seek medical treatment. By calling 911 and having officers come to the scene, you'll help guarantee that the right data is collected and that you start a paper trail for the personal injury claim that you are likely to make.Additionally, having an emergency medical team come to the scene will help you get the immediate care that you need, even if you think that you've escaped without injuries.

It's hopeful that the future will have fewer accidents and injuries, but in the meantime, you can pursue a claim if you're hit.

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John McCabe wrote "The Investigation and Analysis of Personal Injury Cases" in the best-selling book Personal Injury Practice in North Carolina. This is the book that other lawyers follow in handling personal injury cases.

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