CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Startling statistics are shedding light on a growing issue in the Charlotte community — the number of pedestrians hit and killed is treading in the wrong direction.

"It's a very disturbing number obviously because it's something that can very easily be avoided," said Johnathan Frisk, a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Crime Prevention Specialist.

As the city of Charlotte grows so does the number of pedestrians being hit and killed on area roads. More than two months ago the total number of fatal pedestrian-auto accidents in 2017 eclipsed the previous year's total.

According to CMPD, so far in 2017, there have been 26 pedestrians hit and killed by a vehicle. The rate of fatal pedestrian-auto accidents is up 53 percent. There were only 17 all of last year.

Just last week, a family crossing the street on West Boulevard was hit before the dad and baby made it to the median. Surveillance video show the dad being dragged 300 feet and the baby airborne. The family was in the crosswalk, but CMPD says most of the time people that are hit tend to break the law.

Police say drivers should pay most attention at crosswalks during two times of the day.

"Morning time and evening time," said Frisk. "People are going to work or trying to get home from work and it's the last thing somebody is thinking of is someone walking or riding a bicycle across an intersection."