Cut-through traffic occurs when motorists use neighborhood streets to avoid more congested roadways. While cut-through traffic occurs on small levels every day, recent closures needed for the Greensboro Urban Loop have diverted large swaths of traffic onto Cottage Place in the Battle Forest neighborhood, acting as a throughway between Old Battleground Road and Lawndale Drive. The problem? Cottage Place is not equipped for this type of traffic and, according to the Greensboro News and Record, neighbors are very upset at this latest development.
Cut-through traffic is a problem for neighborhoods with narrower streets and limited or no sidewalk because pedestrians and cyclists in these areas are not expecting significant motor vehicle traffic. In the same vein, motorist cutting through these neighborhoods may not be anticipating the pedestrian traffic that is more common in these areas. When the cutting-through is being done by one or two vehicles, adjustments by both sides can easily be made. But when commercial traffic and daily commuters are sent into neighborhoods like Battle Forest, serious and even fatal accidents are much more likely.
Keeping Kids Safe
One of the biggest problems posed by cut-through traffic is the safety of children coming to and from school. Elementary, middle and high school students will face additional traffic – and all that comes with it – until Urban Loop construction is completed. Sadly, this may mean an increase in pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, and car accidents as work and school traffic overlap.
You can help protect your child by ensuring he or she understands how to interact with traffic. Some tips to cover with your kids include:
- Walk on the sidewalk or as far to the side as possible
- Do not wear headphones – it is important that you are able to hear engine noise and other signs of approaching traffic
- Do not assume a car will stop, always wait to see what a driver will do
- Stay alert, avoid cellphone use and other distractions while walking
There were nearly 6,000 pedestrian deaths in 2016, an 11% increase over 2015. Researchers attribute much of this to distraction on the parts of both drivers and pedestrians. Encourage your children to avoid distraction while driving, bicycling, and walking to help them avoid being involved in an accident.
In 2015 in North Carolina, there were 77 pedestrian traffic fatalities. In 2016, that number increased nearly 25% to 96 pedestrian traffic fatalities – many occurring in larger metropolitan areas like Greensboro, the third most populous city in our state. The state is taking action to curb this trend, but you need to as well. Exhibit responsible behavior and educate your children to help prevent their involvement in one of these accidents.
Launched in 2016, our state’s Vision Zero plan aims to reduce traffic fatalities by 50% by 2030 with the eventual goal of zero fatal traffic accidents in North Carolina. To help facilitate this, programs like the Active Routes to School and Let’s Go NC! Walking and Bicycling Skills curriculum have been launched statewide. You can do your part by making sure your children enroll in these important and potentially lifesaving programs.
How Many People are Driving Distracted?
Distracted driving has been identified as a leading cause of car accidents. By some estimates, distraction is involved in over 80% of all accidents, many of which involve cyclists and pedestrians as well as other vehicles.
Distraction comes in many forms and drivers who have been diverted through the Battle Forrest neighborhood must be extra vigilant to help prevent causing or being involved in an accident during Urban Lop construction. This means taking care to not:
- Adjust music or radio stations while the vehicle is in motion
- Comb hair, shave, or apply makeup while driving
- Eat or drink while operating a car
- Talk, type, or text on a cellphone at any point while in the driver’s seat
Keeping eyes and attention on the road is essential for preventing distracted driving accidents, but this attention goes both ways. It is very important that kids on neighborhood streets, even when cut-through traffic is not an issue, be aware of surroundings and know how to react to the poor driving behaviors of some in the Greensboro area.
Zendrive is a tech company that has created an interactive map showing how many people are using cellphones in various school zones. How safe are the streets around your child’s school? Zendrive’s interactive map can tell you. This information is useful both for parents and kids, especially in areas where congestion and heavy traffic are common and can act as a good conversation starter for discussing distraction with your child. Remember, cellphone use is not the only type of distracted driving, but it is one that poses very serious risks. Teach your children – through education and your own behavior – that cellphone use has no place in a car to help protect him or her from causing or being involved in one of these completely avoidable accidents.
Protecting Your Rights
Little can be done about diverted traffic, but much can be done if you are injured while walking, bicycling, or driving in it. The first step is calling Greensboro car accident lawyer Marcus Hayes and scheduling a free consultation. During this meeting, Attorney Hayes will listen to your story, discuss all of your options, and help you choose which path will help secure the best settlement. This consultation is free of both charge and obligation, and serves as the perfect way to determine if you have cause to file suit.
Victims of serious injury are entitled to compensation for all related damages. This may include:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Adaptive technology and home modifications
- Current and projected future lost wages
- Physical pain
- Emotional duress
It is important to remember that insurance companies will likely not offer you all that you are due following an accident. The only way to make sure you are treated fairly and provided full compensation is with the help of an experienced and qualified car accident lawyer. For nearly 30 years, Marcus Hayes has been helping men, women, and children injured by negligent drivers get justice. Call us at 336-645-3959 to schedule your free consultation and learn how Attorney Hayes can help you.
Hayes Law is located in Greensboro, North Carolina. Marcus Hayes welcomes clients from Winston-Salem, High Point, and all surrounding areas.