While auto accidents can happen without warning anywhere in Charlotte and across North Carolina, there are some roads that are more dangerous than others. Researchers, planners, legislators and activists are cognizant of the risks people face and strive to improve safety. This is especially imperative for pedestrians and bicyclists. Since accidents can cause severe injuries and fatalities, having the facts can be vital. So too is it useful to have advice after an accident has occurred. Recently, a new crosswalk was built and will soon be active on a notoriously dangerous boulevard in Charlotte. Even with that, challenges persist throughout the state.
Pedestrian and bicyclist safety at the heart of recent changes
For people who frequently use Wilkinson Boulevard, there will likely be a sense of relief that strategies are being implemented to improve safety. Still, as this crosswalk is being put in effect, the facts show that accidents are sometimes unavoidable. At high risk are pedestrians and bicyclists. At this specific boulevard – near Walmart – the past five years have had two fatalities involving people attempting to cross. The shopping center is a challenge because there are no nearby crosswalks. This new crosswalk will be right in the middle of the two closest ones. It is set to be operational soon with traffic lights and warnings for drivers. While this is a positive step, North Carolina remains exceedingly challenging for riders and pedestrians.
A safety group, Watch For Me NC, says the state is known as one of the worst in the nation for rider and pedestrian safety. Annual statistics say that 20 riders and 160 pedestrians lose their lives every year. This accounts for 15% of traffic deaths in North Carolina. Speeding is an overwhelming catalyst. Although Wilkinson Boulevard has a 45-mph limit, drivers tend to exceed speed limits. Anytime a person heads out to commute to work or school, run an errand or head for a leisure activity, it is likely they will encounter several speeding vehicles.
Safety initiatives aside, auto accidents remain a daily worry for many
Obviously, this is a positive decision for that one boulevard. Despite that, when looking at the underlying realities, pedestrians and bicyclists can be involved in a motor vehicle accident and suffer catastrophic injuries and even death. In addition to the injuries and pain, there are financial factors and the long-term aftermath that must be considered. The situation must be assessed to determine how it happened and those who were injured or lost a loved one should have advice with moving forward and deciding on a strategy.