Georgia Pedestrian Accidents: Common Risk Factors


April 11, 2011

Pedestrian accidents account for eleven percent of all motor vehicle fatalities. Accidents involving pedestrians who are completely unprotected often result in injuries that are far more deadly than vehicle-on-vehicle accidents. This is due to pedestrians lacking any of the numerous safety protections of a car, truck or SUV.

With no seat belts, airbags, or protective steel structure about them, pedestrians can receive lethal injuries at very low speeds in a relatively modest impact. As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes, a pedestrian is killed roughly every 100 minutes in the U.S.

The degree of risk associated with being involved in a pedestrian traffic accident is affected by several factors. Urban centers like Atlanta are frequently the location of pedestrian car accidents because of the congestion and close proximity of high numbers of vehicles and pedestrians. Metro areas account for 70% of pedestrian fatalities. Although rural areas account for fewer pedestrian accidents, vehicle collisions with pedestrians in rural areas typically result in more serious injuries including catastrophic injuries like traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, broken bones, internal organ damage and fatalities. This is due to the average speed of impact of vehicles in congested city streets versus open rural roads. NHTSA data reveals that at 25 mph there are 57.1 injuries for every death, while at 60 mph there are 3.3 deaths per every injury. Tragically, almost 25% of those seriously injured or killed in pedestrian accidents are children.

It is due to the extreme danger for pedestrians in a collision with a motor vehicle that pedestrians tend to receive the benefit of the doubt in pedestrian auto accident lawsuits. Just as vehicles such as buses and other common carriers are held to higher legal standards compared to passenger vehicles, all vehicles are expected to show a high degree of care in avoiding pedestrians. Thus, a pedestrian in a Georgia crosswalk is protected by law such that all drivers are expected to stop. A driver that disregards this protection or other traffic safety laws may be liable to a pedestrian who is injured or killed in a collision.

This does not mean that pedestrians cannot be found to have contributed to their own injury. If a pedestrian does not take reasonable care for their own safety, the measure of their recovery in a personal injury lawsuit may be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to the pedestrian. There are several things that pedestrians can do to reduce their risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident. A pedestrian can reduce their risk of being involved in a pedestrian accident by simply obeying all traffic laws and avoiding jaywalking. A pedestrian can also reduce their risk of injury by wearing reflective or bright clothing at night which helps increase visibility to drivers of cars, trucks and SUVs. Pedestrians should also remain alert at all times near intersections and avoid “distracted walking.” It is never a good idea to “drink and walk” as 46% of pedestrian accidents are alcohol-related. Parents should also carefully supervise their children because children between the ages of five and fifteen are the highest category of victims in serious pedestrian accidents.

While increasing advances in technology such as crash sensor systems in vehicles may one day greatly reduce the number of pedestrian accidents, they remain a significant cause of serious injuries and fatalities. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured or has suffered wrongful death in a pedestrian accident, the experienced Atlanta pedestrian accident attorneys of Montlick and Associates can help. We will diligently pursue the best possible result in your pedestrian accident case as we continually aspire to be regarded as the top personal injury law firm in Georgia.

The experienced Georgia pedestrian accident lawyers of Montlick and Associates are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our 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.

Category: Personal Injury

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.