The risk of being involved in a car accident is significant on nearly any road in the United States. And you don’t even need to be in a car to be at risk. Pedestrian accidents continue to be a major problem nationwide, and the problem seems to be getting worse for about half the country.

That’s according to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). The report showed that during the first six months of 2018, pedestrian fatalities rose in 25 states, compared to the same time period a year earlier. That includes North Carolina, where pedestrian accident fatalities increased by 23 percent.

Our state was ranked 12th in the nation for increases in pedestrian deaths in the first half of 2018. The total number of fatalities for that six-month period was 102 statewide. Alarmingly, fatal pedestrian accidents nationwide have increased recently despite a 6 percent drop in all other traffic-related deaths.

There are numerous factors to explain the increase, according to the GHSA. They include:

  • Distracted driving
  • Distracted pedestrians
  • Alcohol impairment
  • An increase in foot traffic on infrastructure designed primarily for cars
  • An increase in the number of SUVs on the road

Everyone is responsible for traveling safely on shared roads, including drivers, bikers and pedestrians. But drivers have an especially large responsibility in light of the dangers they pose to pedestrians and bicyclists. As the report’s author noted about the plight of pedestrians: “Crossing the street should not be a death sentence.”

Too often, serious injuries and fatalities are dismissed simply as the costs of getting around. But that should never be the case. If you have been seriously injured or a loved one has been killed by a negligent driver, please discuss your rights and legal options with an experienced personal injury attorney.