Southern Cities Experience More Pedestrian Accidents

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Southern cities in North Carolina are grappling with an epidemic of pedestrian deaths with 47 000 deaths reported between 2003 and 2012. Some 676,000 people experienced a pedestrian injury. But that's not all, pedestrian deaths accounted for nearly 15 percent of traffic deaths in 2012 – a 6 percent increase from a year earlier.

The Most Dangerous Areas

One of the most troubling findings has been that people in Sunbelt communities that grew during the post-war period were among the highest risk for pedestrian injury. Most pedestrian accident lawyers realize that a number of the areas developed rapidly, with emphasis on fast, wide roads that connect homes to workplaces, schools and shops. The roads are often ill-equipped with the necessary safety feature for travelling on foot.

Pedestrian Injury is Preventable

While pedestrian deaths are usually labeled as accidents, most are actually preventable with the help of more effective design, regulation and policies – very similar to the approach taken to prevent motor vehicle accidents and death. To pinpoint danger areas, researchers developed the Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI). The PDI measures the likelihood of a pedestrian being struck and killed. It has been based on the number of people walking, versus how many crashes there have been. For the entire study period, the PDI was 52.2 nationally. The fatality rate was reported at 1.56 per 100,000 residents.

Figures in the South

The figures in the South are worse. Charlotte ranked number 10, with a PDI of 112 and 254 pedestrian deaths in a 9 year period. Orlando's PDI was 245, that's four times higher than the national average. Other states in the top 10 include Miami, Birmingham, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Houston and Tampa. The only city not in the South was Phoenix. Ranking at number 16 was Raleigh. The area's PDI measured 100.35, with the total number of pedestrian deaths reported at 165 during the study period. Over half of the pedestrian deaths happened on arterial roadways that haven't been designed to handle foot traffic. The speed of vehicles was a major factor too, with almost 62 percent of pedestrian injury and deaths occurring on roads where the speed limit was 40 miles per hour or more. Nine percent of fatalities happened on roads where the speed limit was 30 mph or under.

There's a Bright Side

One a brighter note, improvement efforts have been made in West Jefferson. The mountainous region in the northwestern part of the state used to be inundated by pedestrian deaths along the highway. But officials have worked to put in place a series of safety measures which have made the roads safer for pedestrians and lessened the amount of pedestrian industry. The redesign includes extending curbs, converting traffic signals to four-way stops, painting high-visibility crosswalks, increasing on-street parking and planting trees and placing more benches. While the renovations cost a whopping $500,000, the result was 10 new businesses, a 20 percent increase in tourists and a 30 percent decrease in pedestrian injury.

Have You Incurred a Pedestrian Industry?

If you've incurred a pedestrian injury and need to know what your rights are to claiming compensation, talk to the lawyers at Clore Law. You can contact them at 843-722-8070.

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Clore Law Group welcomes your questions about any issues concerning a serious personal injury, car accident, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, business tort, or workplace injury. If you have a viable claim, we’ll explain the legal process. Since consultations are always free, there’s no cost in learning your legal options.