On average, every two hours a pedestrian is killed by a motor vehicle in the United States.
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 50,000 pedestrians are injured in a typical year in U.S. traffic crashes. When two automobiles collide, the occupants have some protection from injury thanks to seat belts, air bags, and the metal and plastic shells of the cars. Pedestrians have no such protection, making any collision between a motor vehicle and a person on foot extremely serious.
Where Accidents Occur
Studies show that some situations and locales pose a greater risk to pedestrians. Both drivers and pedestrians should exercise greater caution in these areas to avoid the tragedy of a North Carolina pedestrian accident:
- School zones
- Near playgrounds and parks in residential areas
- Bus stops
- Parking lots
- Rural areas without sidewalks
- Road construction and road repair zones
- Sewer maintenance sites
- Intersections where drivers are known to ignore stop signs, yield signs, or stop lights
What to Do When a Pedestrian Accident Occurs
Even at speeds under 10 miles per hour, a car collision with a pedestrian can inflict disabling injuries. Whether you are a witness or the driver of a vehicle involved in a collision, your first reactions will be surprise and shock. Recover as quickly as possible and take these steps:
- Keep any injured victims safe. Do not move a victim unless necessary to save his life. If it’s necessary to move someone, work cooperatively with others and move the person by lifting on clothing rather than pulling limbs, if possible. Check for pulse, breathing, and heartbeat, and if necessary—and if someone in the area is trained to do so—administer CPR. Don’t attempt to give any other medical treatment.
- Summon help. Call emergency services: police and medical care. If you believe you might face legal charges from the incident (for example, if you were driving after drinking alcohol), then you may also wish to call a criminal defense attorney. When the police arrive, respond to their questions honestly.
- Gather contact information with the victim and any witnesses. If the victim is conscious and responsive, write down his name, address, telephone number, and insurance provider. Give him your similar information. Get the names and phone numbers of any witnesses of the event. Do not engage in any other conversation with the victim or witnesses.
Consulting a Lawyer
Be aware that the driver is not always at fault for a pedestrian traffic injury. Only a trained investigator can determine legal responsibility. Even a police report cannot be trusted to answer this question, because that report is intended to determine the physical cause of an accident, not necessarily the legal liability.
When you or someone you know has been injured in a North Carolina pedestrian accident, you should contact the Wilmington auto collision lawyers at Speaks Law Firm to inquire about legal representation. Call our office at 910-341-7570 or toll-free at 877-593-4233 to set up a free case evaluation, and we will send you a FREE copy of our helpful report, The North Carolina Auto Injury Book.
Pedestrian accidents can be devastating. Let us show you how we plan to get you the compensation you deserve.