According to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, pedestrian deaths are on the rise, accounting for 16% of all traffic fatalities in America. Nationwide, pedestrian fatalities have increased 46% since their low point in 2009, and Georgia reflects this trend.
The Georgia Department of Transportation reports that, in 2017, 260 pedestrians were killed on Peach State roads; an increase from the 232 pedestrian fatalities in 2016. What’s particularly sobering is that the 2017 total of 260 is exactly twice the number of pedestrians killed in 2011, just six years before. When the Governors Highway Safety Association released its annual “Spotlight on Highway Safety” report in 2018, it stated that our state’s pedestrian fatality rate was 0.8 per 100,000 people, giving Georgia the 16th highest pedestrian death rate in the country.
If you live in Fulton or DeKalb Counties, walk with caution, because an article in Atlanta Magazine states that over half of Georgia’s pedestrian fatalities occur in the Metro Atlanta area (the 9th largest metropolitan area in the nation).
Common Causes of Pedestrian Traffic Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the following are common contributors to pedestrian traffic accidents:
- Electronic distraction: Both drivers and pedestrians suffer from this type of distraction. Texting, looking at cellphones, personal music players, even wearing earbuds or headphones can endanger a pedestrian.
- Drivers not yielding at crosswalks.
- Unmarked crosswalks.
- Speeding: Driving over the posted speed limit vastly decreases a driver’s reaction time, and makes injuries much worse in a pedestrian-vehicle collision.
- Impaired driving: Driving under the influence of alcohol, prescription drugs, illegal drugs, or sleep deprivation is inherently dangerous.
- Quiet cars: Hybrid and electric vehicles are much quieter than their gas-guzzling counterparts. As more of these alternative vehicles hit the road, the danger to pedestrians increases.
- Dark clothing: When it comes to being a pedestrian, it would be safer to adhere to the suggestion of the TV series Orange is the New Black. Bright clothing is much more visible, especially during the twilight hours and at night.
After a Pedestrian Fatality, You May Be Able to File a Claim
If you’ve lost a loved one in a Georgia pedestrian accident, you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim against the negligent driver. Grant Law Office is currently handling a pedestrian fatality case right now, and knows what to do. To find out more about your legal rights and options, call our passionate and experienced Atlanta injury attorneys for a free consultation at (404) 995-3955 or toll-free (866) 249-5513.