Car Accidents at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport
Since 1998, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport has held the record for the world’s busiest airport, and the airport gets busier year after year. In 2016, Hartsfield-Jackson Airport saw approximately 104.2 million travelers, an astounding number that demonstrates just how essential Atlanta’s airport is for travelers worldwide. Because Atlanta’s airport is filled to the brim with travelers on a daily basis, the traffic surrounding the airport is likewise filled to the brim.
The sheer size of Hartsfield-Jackson Airport demonstrates that traffic will be bad and that accidents will happen. The airport houses more than 30,000 parking spots for public use, and these parking spots do not represent the high flow of traffic from buses, shuttles, taxi cabs, ride-share vehicles, and private citizens dropping off and picking up passengers. While high traffic certainly contributes to the high incidence of airport traffic accidents, many accidents that happen at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport (and other Georgia airports) are preventable.
Why Do Airport Car Accidents Happen?
In addition to a high traffic flow, airport car accidents happen for many of the same reasons that car accidents happen on our streets and highways, but there are some factors present in an airport setting that may contribute to the number of accidents.
Examples of reasons why airport car accidents happen include, among others, the following:
- Distracted driving (texting, talking on the phone, or using social media apps, among others);
- Confusion as to where to park and drop off or pick up passengers;
- Failing to signal when changing lanes;
- Failing to follow posted airport traffic signs (i.e., parking in a spot that says “no parking or standing,”);
- Driving in the wrong lane or in the wrong direction;
- Failing to stop at stop signs and crosswalks;
- Driving under the influence; and
- Abruptly stopping or slamming on the brakes.
Common Types of Airport Car Accidents
While many causes of airport car accidents are the same for car accidents on streets and highways, there are certain airport car accidents that happen more than others, which include the following:
- Fender-benders – As stated above, many vehicles abruptly stop at airports whether to take evasive action to change lanes or possibly to avoid hitting a car that has just pulled out in front. While fender-benders are typically not considered to be severe accidents, especially at low speeds, the consequential injuries can be debilitating and permanent. For example, if a large bus is the vehicle to strike a car that has abruptly stopped in front, the injuries have the potential to be significant.
- Parking lot accidents – With 30,000 public parking spaces at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, and hundreds of millions of travelers each year, it is no surprise that fighting for a parking spot can be a tough task. When drivers become eager and anxious to find a parking spot, they are less likely to be paying attention to other vehicles and pedestrians, creating a situation where accidents can happen.
- Pedestrian accidents – There are numerous crosswalks at airports that help to control the flow of traffic and protect pedestrians, many of whom are traveling with heavy luggage. While many vehicles adhere to the crosswalks, there are times when drivers do not stop to allow a pedestrian to pass. On the flip side, there have been pedestrian accidents where a pedestrian has not been paying attention and walks when he or she should not.
Who is to Blame for an Airport Car Accident?
Because airports are not private property, there is always a chance that the airport itself may become a party to a lawsuit. However, when an airport car accident is caused by another driver whom has no direct relationship with the airport, the accident may be treated as any other car accident. Because all accidents are different, blame cannot be placed on any particular person or entity until a qualified Georgia Car Accident Attorney evaluates the accident and resulting injuries.
Put Our Law Firm’s Years Of Legal Experience To Work For Your Case! If you have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, call now.