The majority of traffic deaths involving pedestrians and bicyclists occur at night. According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS), 32 percent of all fatal bike and pedestrian accidents happen between 8 p.m. and midnight, and 24 percent occur between midnight and 4 a.m. To combat this issue, local officials are urging all pedestrians and bicyclists to wear bright, reflective gear.
GOHS officials report that there were more than 130 pedestrian fatalities in Georgia in 2012. They accounted for about 11 percent of all traffic deaths that year. In addition to encouraging riders and walkers to wear bright clothes, Georgia officials passed a new law requiring drivers to leave at least three feet of space when passing bicyclists. Riders who have more space will be less likely to crash into the side of a car or lose control for fear of being struck.
It is unclear if the call for reflective clothing or the new bicycle safety law will ultimately result in fewer accidents. If you choose to ride or walk late at night, here are a few safety tips to remember:
- Choose your roads wisely. Avoid walking along roads that do not have sidewalks or ride where there is limited visibility. You will be safer on a busy, well-lit roadway than on a rural road where you will not be easily seen.
- Wear bright clothing. The GOHS is correct in saying that visibility is the key to avoiding an accident. If you are wearing a reflective vest, approaching motorists will be able to spot you from farther away, decreasing the risk of accident substantially.
- Equip your bike properly. When riding at night, make sure you have a bright white headlamp as well as reflectors on the front and back of your bike.
- Stay sober. Riding and walking while impaired is extremely dangerous. You are more likely to make a poor decision if you are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an Atlanta pedestrian or bicycle accident, make sure you notify the authorities, gather evidence, seek medical attention right away, and research your legal options. An experienced Atlanta personal injury lawyer from The Law Offices of Wayne Grant, P.C. may be able to help protect your rights and obtain the compensation you rightfully deserve.