HIGH POINT, N.C. (WGHP) — The summer months not only bring more sunshine and high temperatures but also creates dangerous conditions for pedestrians across the country, especially in North Carolina. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report in May that showed deadly pedestrian crashes increased by 13% in 2021, increasing by 12% in North Carolina, creating the highest level of fatalities in 40 years. 

The increase is believed to be connected to the pandemic, and more individuals are on the road and driving intoxicated than in 2020. 

However, more people have taken up walking as a recreational activity or a means of transportation. 

In the Triad, NCDOT numbers show that between 2018 and 2020 there were:  

  • 8 fatal pedestrian accidents in Alamance County 
  • 10 fatal pedestrian accidents in Davidson County 
  • 4 fatal pedestrian accidents in Forsyth County 
  • 20 fatal pedestrian accidents in Guilford County 

High Point Police Captain Patrick O’Toole said that the accidents they’ve seen have been split on who was at fault. Sometimes it was pedestrians for not obeying traffic laws, and other times it was distracted drivers. 

“You don’t get a do-over. There is not a respawn if you get hit by a car. But pedestrians sometimes don’t think and they’ll just walk out into traffic. Drivers a lot of the time are the blame because they aren’t paying attention – or because they are distracted while driving,” said O’Toole.

He stressed that pedestrians need to only cross at crosswalks, wear bright clothes during evening/night walks, and only walk on the sidewalk.