With business booming in Atlanta and other neighboring cities, people are flocking to the area. This does not mean just more cars and bikes on the road, but also more pedestrians. Although walking can be a great form of exercise and helps to reduce your impact on the environment, it can also pose some risks. Careless or distracted drivers can easily cause accidents that leave pedestrians seriously injured.
Smart Growth America released a report concerning pedestrian accidents last year. It revealed that between the years of 2003 and 2012, over 1,500 pedestrians were killed while walking in Georgia. The state was the fifth most dangerous state for pedestrians nationally. In fact, Atlanta was the site of the most pedestrian fatalities, with over 839 deaths. Most pedestrian deaths occurred on arterial roads, which are often designed to maximize the flow of traffic, but not for pedestrian safety.
In light of these alarming statistics, it is important that Atlanta residents understand the causes of pedestrian accidents so that they can stay safe:
- Distracted driving: Distracted driving is thought to be the number one factor behind the rise in the number of pedestrian accidents. It can be caused by cell phone use, texting, eating, drinking, playing with the radio, using your GPS, and any other activity that draws your eyes and attention away from the road. Distracted drivers, especially those driving through busy urban cities with many pedestrians, might not see pedestrians crossing and the results can be catastrophic.
- Distracted walkers: Distraction can also prove dangerous for pedestrians themselves. Pedestrians today often walk with headphones in and might be looking down at their cell phones. They could walk out into the road when it is not safe to cross or might not see a light change that warn them not to cross. Thus, walkers and drivers alike need to pay attention to the road ahead to prevent pedestrian accidents.
- Dangerous roadways: Roadway design can also contribute greatly to pedestrian accidents. Some roadways and intersections have been the site of several pedestrian accidents and this is no coincidence. Roadways that lack sufficient crosswalks, do not have crosswalk symbols, provide inadequate sidewalks for pedestrians or do not have enough visibility for vehicles can all contribute to pedestrian accidents. Cities need to closely examine their streets to ensure they are designed with pedestrian safety in mind.
If you or a loved one is injured in a pedestrian accident, contact a licensed pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will examine your case and determine whether you are eligible for compensation.