Some studies claim that crosswalks actually make it more likely for pedestrians to be injured while crossing the street. As a result, many places have started removing crosswalks. This doesn't mean there aren't always signals, but that the lines are not painted on the pavement.
Injuries from a pedestrians/car accident can be incredibly severe, including brain injuries. This is especially true if a car runs a red light at full speed and hits a pedestrian who is in the crosswalk.
The original idea behind crosswalks was that they would help keep people safe. Drivers would know where to expect pedestrians, and people would all cross at the same places, rather than jaywalking.
While that logic makes sense, the issue that has been found is that pedestrians sometimes get a false sense of security and safety while in a crosswalk. When the light turns, they may be more likely to walk into a crosswalk without looking both ways, assuming that cars will stop because they have the right of way.
Those pedestrians are not wrong; they do have the right of way, and the cars are supposed to stop. The problem, though, is that the lines don't protect people when drivers make mistakes or break the law. The accident is still just as devastating. Therefore, pedestrians are safer if they don't feel like they have a special zone in which to walk, and so they take more time to watch traffic and look both ways.
Have you been hit and injured while crossing the road in North Carolina? If so, you need to know your rights to compensation, especially after an expensive brain injury.
Source: Where The Sidewalk Starts, "True or False Sense of Security?," accessed Jan. 20, 2016