North Carolina Drivers Need to Share the Road with Pedestrians & Bicyclists

a pedestrian crossing sign in rural North Carolina

North Carolina pedestrian accident lawyer explains what you need to know

Pedestrian accidents and collisions involving cars and bicycles have become increasingly common in North Carolina in recent years, according to North Carolina Health News based on accident statistics compiled by state and federal officials.

And in part, the problem has gotten worse because of aggressive North Carolina drivers. “One of the primary factors in bicyclists’ crashes is the motorist’s behavior and experience,” Trisha Farnham, BikeWalkNC’s program manager, said in an interview with North Carolina Health News.

North Carolina pedestrian accident statistics

Pedestrian accidents have long been a problem in North Carolina. Since 2015, the number of fatalities and accidents involving pedestrians has increased nearly every year, even though there were fewer drivers on the road in 2020 and 2021.

In 2015, there were 3,053 pedestrian accidents across the state, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. That figure increased to 3,228 pedestrian accidents statewide in 2019.

The number of pedestrians killed in North Carolina accidents also increased dramatically during roughly the same time period, from 182 pedestrian fatalities in 2015 to 228 pedestrian deaths in 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

More recently, Smart Growth America ranked North Carolina the 14th most dangerous state for pedestrians in a national study called “Dangerous By Design.” The same study noted that pedestrian accident fatalities in North Carolina were projected to reach a record high in 2021, even though there were fewer drivers on the road due to the pandemic.

North Carolina bicycle accident statistics

Like pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents caused by drivers in North Carolina have become more common in recent years. In 2014, there were 851 bicycle accidents in North Carolina, according to accident statistics compiled by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. That figure was 907 bicycle accidents in 2019, with a recent record high of 1,000 bicycle accidents in 2017.

The number of bicycle accident fatalities in North Carolina has steadily increased in recent years as well. In 2014, a total of 19 North Carolina cyclists were killed in bicycle accidents. By 2020, that figure had increased to 26 bicycle accident fatalities statewide, according to the NHTSA.

What can be done to prevent accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists?

There are many things drivers and city and state officials can do to reduce such accidents. But in general, motorists need to share the road with cyclists and pedestrians. “It really comes down to the drivers, because drivers who are unpredictable or unwilling to share the road usually are what put bikers at risk, but in recent years the problem has become a lot better,” cyclist and camp counselor Gavin Archie said an interview with North Carolina Health News.

BikeWalkNC agrees. That’s why the statewide non-profit organization recently launched an educational campaign designed to educate drivers, police, and public officials about the importance of safely sharing the road with cyclists and pedestrians, especially in areas where such accidents are common.

In addition, bike and pedestrian safety advocates believe local and state officials in North Carolina need to invest more money in infrastructure improvements designed to make streets and roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians, according to North Carolina Health News.

How a North Carolina pedestrian accident attorney can help

You might think you don’t need a lawyer if a driver clearly caused your bicycle or pedestrian accident. But the reality is such accidents often turn into complicated legal cases. Sometimes, it’s because the driver denies doing anything wrong. Other times, it’s the at-fault driver’s insurance company that’s the problem.

The North Carolina pedestrian accident lawyers at Brent Adams & Associates can help you every step of the way. We know how to investigate pedestrian and bicycle accidents. We know what laws apply and how the legal system works in North Carolina. That’s why we have such a strong track record of success.

Learn more about your legal rights. Contact us and schedule a free consultation with a North Carolina pedestrian accident attorney who puts your best interests first. We work on a contingency fee basis. That means you only pay us if we obtain a financial settlement or verdict for you. Call now or contact us online. We have offices in Raleigh, Fayetteville, Dunn, and Southern Pines, North Carolina.

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