Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents in the state of Georgia are on the rise. In 2019, there were 239 pedestrian accident deaths in Georgia, and in 2021 there were 273, which is an increase of 14%. Even though Atlanta officials are installing signs and installing more four-way stops to help reduces cars from speeding. Atlanta roads are designed to move cars as quickly and efficiently as possible. As you can see, pedestrians are greatly at risk of being injured by a car. Our Atlanta pedestrian accident attorneys explain why pedestrians are at risk and the common causes of Atlanta pedestrian accidents.
Why are pedestrian accidents on the rise in Atlanta?
Georgia ranks 9th in the deadliest state for pedestrians in the country. So, it’s extremely important that you know your surroundings when crossing the street and understand why pedestrian accidents are rising.
Drivers neglect pedestrian laws.
Drivers either choose to ignore or don’t understand pedestrian laws. Pedestrians have right of way when crossing the street. So drivers drive too closely to pedestrians or ignore pedestrian right-of-way at crosswalks and intersections. Drivers also tend to ignore the pedestrian right of way laws by;
- running red lights
- are talking on their cell phones
- speed through school zones
- are distracted by eating food
- under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Georgia “Stop and Stay” Laws
In Georgia, the “stop and stay’ law means drivers must “stop and remain stopped” for pedestrians. This just does not mean yielding to them. Drivers must come to a complete stop and wait for pedestrians to cross when a pedestrian is in a crosswalk. It is illegal for drivers to cut crossing pedestrians off or squeeze past pedestrians on the same half of the roadway.
Yielding to pedestrians outside a crosswalk
Pedestrians must yield to any cars when crossing the street if they are not in a crosswalk. However, once they cross, cars must yield to any pedestrians in the street, even if they are not in a crosswalk. Pedestrians must only cross at the designated crosswalk if they are at traffic signals.
The most common types of pedestrian accidents in Atlanta
Here are the most common types of pedestrian accidents that our Atlanta pedestrian accident attorneys are unfortunately way too familiar with.
Hit by a speeding driver
A lot of Atlanta’s pedestrian accidents involve speeding drivers. A speeding driver has less reaction time to process that a pedestrian is ahead. A speeding car also requires more stopping distance. To the driver, this pedestrian appears to have come out of nowhere. Even if the pedestrian has followed the laws, you can not plan for drivers who are breaking the law.
A pedestrian crossing without a crosswalk
Even though a driver must stop if a pedestrian is already crossing the street. A driver might not expect a pedestrian to be in the street, especially if a driver is distracted or speeding.
A driver’s blind spot
There are blind spots on a driver’s car, especially when a car is backing up or turning. The most common accidents are a driver not seeing a small child behind their car or a bike that is in a driver’s blind spot.
Drunk driving accidents
About one-third of Georgia pedestrian accidents involve a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drunk pedestrians also contribute to Georgia pedestrian accidents.
Unfortunately, because of bad weather conditions, bright sunlight or even low-lit roads at night can reduce visibility. If a driver doesn’t see the pedestrian because of visibility conditions, they may not be able to stop in time.
Error in road design
Some roads are poorly lit at night or designed in a way that causes a driver to come up quickly on a pedestrian crossing the street that is not in the crosswalk.
How can pedestrians stay safe?
It’s impossible to predict what a driver might do. However, there are some safety tips that pedestrians can follow.
- Understand pedestrian laws, know the rules of the road, and obey all signs and signals.
- Make sure you give your full attention to your surroundings. Avoid using your cell phone or wearing headphones.
- Always walk on the sidewalk when possible. If there is no sidewalk, walk as close to the curb as possible.
- Always look both ways. Don’t rely on the right of way of the crosswalk or pedestrian light.
- If you are walking on the roadway, walk facing traffic.
- Wear bright clothing during the day
- Wear reflective clothing when walking, jogging, or running in the evening (bring a light with you if you don’t have reflective clothing)
- At night, walk in well-lit areas. Bring a flashlight when walking in a dark area in the evening.
- Be on the lookout for vehicles entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots.
- Always use a crosswalk to cross. If there is no crosswalk, cross at the intersection using a well-lit area where you have the best view of traffic. Don’t try to quickly cross in front of cars. Continue watching for traffic as you cross.
- Make eye contact with the driver if you are crossing the roadway
- Don’t walk on interstates highways
What to do if you are in a pedestrian accident in Atlanta?
If you are involved in a pedestrian accident, you should get medical treatment immediately. It’s important to make sure you get the help you need. Then you should call an experienced pedestrian attorney in Atlanta immediately. Georgia Trial Attorneys can ensure that you receive the compensation you rightly deserve.
If you are ready to meet with an attorney, contact us at 833-4TheWin for a complimentary consultation.