Pedestrian Safety Tips
North Carolina pedestrian accidents are tragic and an all-too-common occurrence. The Charlotte Observer reported that a man was killed overnight after an apparent hit-and-run accident. The man was found lying in the street and was rushed to the hospital. He later died of his serious internal injuries. The identity of the victim has not been released, although reports say that the man was a male in his 50s. There are no leads as to what vehicle was involved in the wreck.
The Charlotte Police Department reported that this was the second pedestrian killed by a vehicle in the last 36 hours in the city. The day before, 17-year-old high school student and rising sophomore Robbie Tucker was struck by a car and killed on Plott Road in Charlotte.
What can you do to keep you and your family safe while walking on or near roads? Here are some tips for pedestrians courtesy of the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center:
- Don't make sudden movement into streets.
- Stay off freeways, highways, and restricted zones.
- Walk defensively - don't assume drivers see you or are paying attention. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing a street.
- Use extra caution when crossing multiple lanes, busy streets, and streets with high speed limits.
- If walking at night, bring a flashlight, wear reflective or light-colored clothing, and stay out of very dark or badly lit areas.
- Always use sidewalks and crosswalks where available.
- Walk facing road traffic when possible.
- Remember that drugs and alcohol can impair your walking just as it impairs driving.
- Wait for WALK signals when crossing streets with lights.
- Be careful when crossing the street between parked cars - and always look both ways before crossing. If at all possible, cross the street at intersections and do not jay walk.
- Always check for turning vehicles when crossing a street.
- Don't assume that cars will follow the rules of the road - such as obeying 'no turn on red' signs.
- If walking with a child, always hold their hand and do not allow them to wander away from you. Do not let children cross the street by themselves.
- Watch out for vehicles entering or leaving driveways and parking lots.
- Allow extra space for crossing the street when there is bad weather such as rain or snow.
Although these tips won't guarantee that you will be safe from car accidents and pedestrian accidents in North Carolina, they can keep you safer and more aware of the vehicles around you while you are out walking near traffic.