Police stated Sept. 27 that a driver was probably speeding when his car hit four people riding on a bike and child carrier in Princess Anne Plaza in Virginia Beach. The 84-year-old driver was charged with reckless driving.
Police noted that a woman and her three children were struck while riding down Doctor Drive on a bike with a child carrier attached to the rear.
According to a witness, there was a long screech of tires and then horrible screaming from the victims. Tire marks on a nearby property showed where the elderly driver overcorrected after making a fast turn from Dillon Drive to Doctor Drive.
Police stated that the mother has serious injuries and one of the children is in critical condition at a local hospital.
People who live in that neighborhood told reporters that the speed limit in the area is 25 but people frequently drive much faster.
In 2015, 818 bikers and 53765 pedestrians died in crashes with cars, trucks and SUVs, according to the NHTSA. These two numbers accounted for almost 18% of the 35,000 fatal car accidents in the US that year. Also, 70,000 pedestrians were injured in car accidents in the same year. There were 61,000 injured in 2006, so there was a 15% increase in 10 years. It also is important to note that only a fraction of pedestrian accidents are reported to the police, so there are likely far more every year.
As personal injury attorneys in Virginia, we want to stress the importance of driving safely and within posted speed limits. It is the responsibility of all drivers to drive with caution when they are near pedestrians and bikers. Some tips to drive safely around pedestrians include:
- Slow down for crosswalks. Crosswalks do not always command the respect that they should. When you approach a crosswalk, you must give right of way to the pedestrian or biker. If you are making a turn through a crosswalk, be certain that the crosswalk is clear before completing the turn.
- Know where children are. Children do not understand traffic laws and right of way as well as adults, so you should always be on lookout for children running into the street in residential neighborhoods. Drive the speed limit and be alert!
- Beware in parking lots. 52% of back over injuries happen in parking lots. There are many cars and pedestrians in parking lots, so extra caution is always in order.
Driving with care around pedestrians is vital to avoid seriously injuring or killing people. Drivers also can be hit with criminal charges and be sued in civil court for injuring pedestrians. Our Virginia personal injury attorneys settled a pedestrian crosswalk accident for $300,000 in Norfolk recently, and we urge all drivers to drive responsibly to avoid these repercussions.