For North Carolina residents who are suddenly impacted by an auto accident, there will be an inevitable litany of concerns to address. This type of setback can be complicated for many reasons including the medical costs that will likely accrue, the life changes that accompany it and the need to adapt to the injuries suffered or the loss of a loved one. Among the most common causes of catastrophic injuries and death is an auto-pedestrian accident. This can happen to anyone, but the most vulnerable members of the population are often elderly people and children. This should be considered after an accident and the victims and their loved ones are deciding what to do.
Pedestrian fatalities reach record number
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) released a report detailing the troubling rise in pedestrian accidents and fatalities in the United States. in recent years. A concerning factor is that North Carolina is one of seven states along with New York, Texas, Georgia, Florida, California and Arizona that comprise more than half the pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. In the first six months of 2020, the combination of the health crisis and fewer people on the road is believed to have sparked the increase when compared to 2019. The total number of deaths was similar, but given the reduction of miles driven, there was a major increase in pedestrian fatalities. Recklessness rose, drivers were increasingly under the influence and distracted driving was a problem.
The GHSA is still waiting for its final tally for the second half of 2020, but if the first half was any indication, it will get progressively worse. Other statistics show the decade-long rise in these accidents. Compared to 2010 when there were slightly more than 4,300 fatal pedestrian collisions, there were just over 6,300 in 2019. That is 46% higher. This happened while the overall number of fatalities in other kinds of auto accidents only rose by 5%. Black people are more at risk of being victims in a pedestrian collision. The most common reason found was if the driver was under the influence of alcohol. Sport utility vehicles are the types of vehicles that lead to the most damage when there is a pedestrian accident.
Pedestrians are prone to major injuries in a collision
It is not simply the rise in the number of pedestrian accidents that is worrisome, but the fundamental danger that pedestrians face when they are hit by a vehicle. Since they are completely devoid of protection, the overwhelming likelihood is that there will be massive, life-changing injuries if the person is fortunate enough to survive. While there are times when pedestrians place themselves in danger, many of these crashes happen because a driver failed to yield, was speeding, ignored traffic signals, did not allow the person to cross in the crosswalk and committed other violations. In North Carolina, pedestrians have the legal right of way when they are in a crosswalk. These factors could be crucial when considering a potential claim.
It is important to have a guiding hand after a pedestrian accident
The long-term problems that may arise after a pedestrian accident are many. Spinal cord damage could leave a person paralyzed. Brain trauma might result in needing care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Broken bones, internal injuries, lost limbs are physical aftereffects. There can also be emotional consequences. It is critical to be aware of what options are available. Having experienced guidance can be helpful.