Recently released reports provide an analysis of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. for both pedestrians and vehicle occupants. The good news is that no Georgia city ranks in the top 10 most dangerous cities for “pedestrian accidents.” Unfortunately, the rest of the news is mostly bad.
The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta ranks eleventh among the most dangerous cities for pedestrians, while August-Richmond County, GA ranks third amongst most dangerous driving cities in the U.S. The findings are the results of two independent reports. The ranking of most dangerous pedestrian cities comes from the Transportation for America July 2011 report “Dangerous by Design” while the unsafe driving city list was just released and published on CNBC.com.
The issue of pedestrian safety is one often covered in this blog because Georgia has obtained some fame or more accurately notoriety for having some of the most dangerous areas in the U.S. for pedestrians. A documentary produced by Transportation for America previously discussed in this blog focused on Buford Highway as one of the most dangerous stretches of roadway in the U.S. While unsafe drivers are often the primary cause of pedestrian accidents, there are unsafe drivers in every state.
The Transportation for America study was based on what it characterized as a Pedestrian Danger Index (PDI). The death rate in the U.S. per 100,000 is 1.6, which is much higher than many other wide open countries like Canada (1.1) or Australia (0.9). The report indicates that the difference is not based specifically on divergent driving behaviors but in deficiencies in urban planning and roadway design. The authors of the study indicate that public entities that are responsible for urban planning particularly in the South have not been proactive about improvements to infrastructure that make streets safer to pedestrians.
The report ranking the Augusta Richmond County area third most dangerous for drivers will do little to add to the notion that Georgia is proactive about roadway safety, particularly coming on the heels of the negative pedestrian safety reports. The CNBC report used traffic fatality rates in its ranking of the most dangerous cities for drivers. The report considered cities with populations of 150,000 or more. The study analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). There were 38 fatalities in Augusta-Richmond County with a population of 194,149 over a 12-month period. The only cities that had a higher car accident fatality rate were Orlando with 46 deaths (population 230,519) and Fort Lauderdale 41 deaths (183,126).
These studies taken together provide further evidence that anyone traveling in Georgia must be cautious and attentive to avoid a car accident or pedestrian accident. If you are injured in a collision and suffer injury or the loss of a loved one caused by a careless (i.e. negligent) driver or unsafe road design, the other driver or public entity involved in building or maintaining the road may be liable for your injuries and financial losses. The experienced Atlanta car accident and Georgia pedestrian accident lawyers at Montlick & Associates have been representing those injured in all types of motor vehicle collisions throughout Georgia and the Southeast for over 39 years. We work hard for our car and pedestrian accident clients, and represent them with compassion and commitment.