A 53-year-old man died in the early morning hours in Albany on April 19, 2017. According to a report in the Albany Herald, the man was walking on the 600-block of Radium Springs Road when he stepped out into the road in front of an SUV, which tragically aided his death. The accident occurred just before 5:00 a.m. in the pre-dawn light and remains under investigation, but Albany police have said that they are not filing charges against the driver of the SUV.
According to a statement released by Albany police, the pedestrian who was killed was standing on the concrete median in the road. For reasons that are unknown at this time, the man stepped off of the median and into the northbound travel lane. The driver of the SUV reported that he swerved at the last moment but was unable to avoid colliding with the pedestrian. The SUV’s driver’s door struck the pedestrian and caused him to violently strike the pavement. He was also propelled into back across the median into the left-hand turn lane designated for southbound traffic. Law enforcement officials stated that neither the driver nor the pedestrian appeared to be impaired by either drugs or alcohol. Furthermore, the police did not release any information regarding whether the pedestrian was wearing reflective clothing or any information about the amount of traffic at the time of the accident.
First responders arrived at the scene to assist shortly after they received the emergency call. A rescue unit transported the severely injured pedestrian to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Room. Tragically, the man succumbed to his injuries.
A recently released study illustrated the dangers pedestrians encounter on the road. Researchers determined more than one cause contributes to fatal pedestrian crashes. The multiple causes contributing to fatal pedestrian accidents include limited lines of sight, the manner of operation of the driver, poor road design, including lack of places for pedestrians to walk safely, ineffective or lack of appropriate signals, and the pedestrian’s behavior.
The study identified nine situations that cause an overwhelming majority of all pedestrian traffic fatalities and present the greatest risk to pedestrians. They are:
- Crossing a street or road without the right of way to do so,
- Trying to cross quickly in front of large vehicles,
- Walking or crossing a street while wearing dark clothes during early morning or nighttime hours,
- Sudden changes of direction while crossing the road,
- Failure to pay attention to the safety of children,
- Walking too close to traffic,
- Walking in areas not designated for walking or not safe for walking,
- Suddenly walking behind a backing vehicle, and
- Walking while intoxicated, impaired, or distracted.
The study identified aggravating factors that may contribute to fatal pedestrian accidents. Aggravating factors such as age and health of the pedestrian may increase the potential for a fatal accident.
Drivers have a responsibility to watch out for pedestrians. They must also carefully operate their vehicles and be watchful for pedestrians, especially in inclement weather. Also, drivers should be vigilant in watching for pedestrians in crosswalks and other designated areas.
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