In January of this year, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a motor vehicle and Dunbar. The accident happened on Roxalana road, and then person was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that fatal accidents in the state of West Virginia outnumber accidents every other state. And the Post And Courier cites Charleston as one of the most dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists in the state. From 2011 to 2015, there were 26 pedestrians and bicyclists killed or severely injured in vehicular accidents. Kanawha County leads the state in pedestrian accidents; Cabell County is second.
Pedestrian deaths have increased 16% since 2007, according to a study by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. West Virginia’s rate is 1.56 per 100,000 (as of 2016.) The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration statistics show a 9% increase in pedestrian fatalities nationwide from 2015 to 2016.
Non-automotive travelers are at a higher risk for injuries even from the most minor of accidents. Most roads are designed strictly for automotive traffic and don’t allow for pedestrians. People who walk and bike to work (or bus stops) find themselves at greater risk for injuries by drivers who are speeding or not paying attention.
Changes For Charleston Pedestrians
The City of Charleston has recently implemented new urban plans, including the People Pedal Plan, aimed at increased pedestrian and bicycle safety for residents.
Previously, The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester City Of Governments’ 2017 Walk and Bike Plan has already established specific infrastructure upgrades for the area, which includes 117 miles of new sidewalks for pedestrians and 55 miles of new bicycle lanes.
While these improvements will take time, pedestrians will, in the future, have more road space to walk safely.
Morning and afternoon rush hours are the most dangerous periods for pedestrian accidents, with accidents commonly between 5 pm and 7 pm. As a pedestrian, you have an increased duty of care to protect yourself.
Of course, paying attention is paramount. Smartphones are one of the biggest distractions for both drivers and pedestrians. Putting them out of reach and ignoring them while walking is important to keeping your attention on your surroundings.
If you’re listening to music or a podcast, use only one earbud at a normal volume to be able to hear traffic.
Cross at designated crosswalk areas. About 82% of pedestrian accidents occur away from intersections and crosswalks.
When crossing a street, look left, look right, and then left again. Vehicles travel fast, and you’ll see it if you look left again.
Do not assume a car will stop—many drivers are also distracted, and won’t see you.
Avoid alcohol if you need to walk home—especially after dark.
If you must walk after dark, wear brightly colored clothing to be seen.
The Help You Need Now
We stand ready to protect your interests and help you get back on your feet after an accident. We’ll examine all the facts in the case, the police report, and advise you on how to proceed.
You may be able to recover compensation for your injuries, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain & suffering
If you’ve been involved in a pedestrian accident, contact us at The Love Law Firm, or call us at (304) 344 5683. Your consultation is free, and we only collect if we win your case.