The Role of Safer Road Design in Preventing Pedestrian Accidents


May 20, 2011

Pedestrian safety throughout Atlanta and all of Georgia becomes a bigger and bigger issue as cities continue to grow and more cars are on the road everyday.

The fact that drivers are in a great hurry most of the time does not help when it comes to avoiding pedestrian accidents. It is estimated that about 5,000 pedestrians die every year in pedestrian traffic accidents. These accidents occur to people who are walking, running and jogging along or across public streets.

Drivers are not only in a hurry these days but they are more distracted than ever. In the seconds that it takes a driver to look down at their cell phone to dial it or to read a text, his or her eyes are not on the road in front of him. If you are a pedestrian and you are in an intersection or the roadway then you could be severely injured or killed.

Negligent drivers are not the only party that may be responsible for a serious pedestrian accident in Georgia. Cities and their signage or lack of signage can play a huge role in how drivers navigate the roads. Signs serve to caution drivers that pedestrians are in the area or that they will be using the roadway that they are on, as in the case of a crosswalk.

Tourist areas are a prime example of where effective signage can play a huge part in safety. A lot of these areas see a huge influx of visitors to their towns, which typically means people are walking, shopping and sightseeing. This can create traffic back-ups and sometimes this frustrates motorists. If there are no warnings motorists may ignore crosswalk areas.

Fort Myers Beach, FL was having such a problem with motorists not stopping at crosswalks when pedestrians were present that they have just implemented a $2,000 pilot program that has installed bright yellow crosswalk signs in the middle of the road. They will be monitoring the four locations where the signs have been placed to see if they make any difference for the people on foot.

Georgia has long been known for having one of the highest pedestrian accident fatality rates in the U.S. Some citizens got together and formed a group called PEDS. PEDS is located in Atlanta and helps raise awareness for pedestrian safety. PEDS is member-based nonprofit that is dedicated to making Atlanta safe and accessible for all pedestrians. They work to improve the engineering of the pedestrian environment, increase enforcement of pedestrian safety and educate drivers about their responsibilities to pedestrians.

Cities have to make pedestrian safety a priority in city planning and in reassessing what is working and not working with their current street design and signage. It can be less costly in the long run for cities to focus on prevention rather than reaction. Just last month, a California woman was awarded $6 million after being struck by a car while jogging across a crosswalk. The accident occurred on a dangerous S-curve and the city had failed to put up any signs warning drivers as to the existence of the crosswalk.

Pedestrian accidents in Georgia 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.

Our experienced Georgia pedestrian accident lawyers 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

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