Pedestrians involved in traffic accidents are particularly vulnerable to harm because, unlike motorists, who have airbags and other safety devices to protect them from injury, pedestrians have no physical protection. When hit by a car, pedestrians can suffer catastrophic violent injuries or even death.
According to the most recent federal statistics, 4,092 pedestrians were killed and 59,000 injured in traffic accidents in the United States in 2009. Unfortunately, the state of Georgia itself has a dismal record: A report from the Highway Safety Association found that, with 150 fatalities, Georgia ranks sixth in the country for the highest number of pedestrian accident fatalities. Sadly, that number could increase in the coming years as the population increases in Atlanta and the surrounding communities.
Current information from the US Census indicates that Georgia’s population has grown more than 20 percent in the last 10 years. Metro Atlanta’s five counties – Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton & Gwinnett – expanded 13.45 percent during the same period. The State Department of Transportation has also noted that very few neighborhoods in Georgia have sidewalks or bike lanes, which explains why so many pedestrian accidents occur on city streets.
Here are some remarkable statistics on pedestrian accidents in Georgia collected through the years:
On average, 3 pedestrians were killed and 40 were injured between 2000 and 2006.
Pedestrians are 32 times more likely to die in motor vehicle accidents than the occupants of the vehicle itself.
The risk to a pedestrian of being seriously injured in an accident is 19 times greater than the risk of serious injury to the occupants of the vehicle.
In 2006, 43 percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred in the five metropolitan Atlanta counties.
More pedestrians die on state highways than on city streets. Perhaps it is because there are fewer crosswalks, there are no pedestrian paths, and vehicles are moving at faster speeds.
CAUSES OF PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS
Georgia laws take pedestrian safety very seriously. Pedestrians are protected at designated crosswalks, and motorists are required by law to exercise “due diligence” around pedestrians anywhere on the highway. Recently, the state also added red signals that are activated by pedestrians at high-volume crosswalks; however, drivers will also be liable for pedestrian injuries in accidents that occur outside of these crosswalks.
Common causes of pedestrian accidents include:
Driver Error: Failure to yield the right of way to pedestrians when crossing streets or intersections is one of the most frequently cited errors in accidents involving pedestrians.
Reckless Driving: Speeding, running a red light, or failing to stop at a stop sign can also be fatal to pedestrians.
Drunk Driving: According to information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 48 percent of all pedestrian traffic fatalities in 2009 involved alcohol by the driver or pedestrian. It is important to mention that, in most cases it was the pedestrian – not the driver – who was drunk. Both parties have a responsibility to behave safely on the roads, and both can be held legally responsible for their negligence when accidents occur.
Driver inattention: Talking on a cell phone, programming a GPS, or sending text messages takes the driver’s eyes and mind off the road. Even the slightest distraction can have life-changing consequences.
If you are a pedestrian who was hit by a car, truck or motorcycle, you need medical help for your injuries, please contact us at: 210-342-2777
* Information obtained from: www.becauseyouwanttowin.com