Fatal Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Is an Ominous Sign for Aging Population
If you enjoying walking or running to stay fit or just for fun, there are many enjoyable locations for pedestrians in and around the Atlanta area. While a park or other areas that are clearly segregated from vehicle traffic may provide the safest locations for walking, many pedestrian choose to run on the shoulder of streets or must cross at intersections. When motorists are busy reading a text on their cell phone, updating their Facebook status or speeding, the result can be devastating for those crossing the street or walking on the edge of the roadway.
While drivers have an obligation to be alert and pay attention for the presence of pedestrians especially at or near intersections and crosswalks, more than 46,000 pedestrians died in pedestrian accidents during the last decade according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics. While pedestrians of all ages can become the victim of a reckless or inattentive driver, elderly pedestrians face a higher than average risk of being hit while crossing the street or walking.
A tragic accident this month involving a 76-year-old man provides a reminder of the heightened risk for elderly pedestrians. A spokesman for the Georgia State Patrol told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that William Scarborough of Walton County was crossing the street while walking home from bingo when he was struck and killed by a motorist. While the details of the accident are unclear, the driver may have been engaged in some form of unsafe driving conduct that caused the collision because he fled the scene rather than stay and render assistance as required by Georgia law. The police indicated that charges in the hit-and-run pedestrian accident are pending while the incident is under investigation.
As the average age of our population increases, the increased risk of pedestrian crashes is also on the rise. According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that was reported in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, pedestrians who are over the age of 75 face twice the risk of being struck by a motor vehicle as pedestrians age 34 or younger. The study analyzed traffic-related pedestrian fatalities involving these age groups over a decade period. The CDC report also expressed concerns that the number of pedestrian fatalities involving seniors will rise as baby boomers enter their golden years.
While the study found that seniors take fewer walks and travel shorter distances than younger pedestrians, they tend to suffer more serious injuries when they are struck by a car or other vehicle. Almost 75 percent of those injured occurred in urban areas according to the report. This finding suggests that seniors that live in the Atlanta-metro area may be more at-risk than seniors in outlying rural areas of Georgia.
At Montlick and Associates, we are committed to taking affirmative steps to protect our families, friends and neighbors from avoidable accidents caused by negligent drivers. Our Atlanta accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia, the Southeast and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state of Georgia.
No matter where you are located our Atlanta personal injury attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.