Pedestrian accidents are on the rise, but why? Even in a year where many people were stuck indoors, pedestrian accidents are still increasing. Some suspected that drivers are more complacent than ever, while others claim that pedestrians are more distracted. Who is right? In truth, it may be both.
Pedestrian accidents can leave people with lifelong injuries and may make it impossible for them to lead healthy lives. That’s not accounting for the mental trauma of being struck while walking down the road. All too often, people overestimate the safety that comes with walking to a location. All throughout Douglasville, you can see people walking from area to area, and the bustling downtown area is almost exclusively pedestrians. Learn from our Atlanta personal injury attorneys right here about pedestrian accidents, and why they’re rising.
Georgia Stats on Pedestrian Accidents
On a national level, over 6,000 pedestrians were killed in car accidents in 2018. In Georgia, nearly 80% of all pedestrian accidents resulted in an injury, and 5% resulted in fatalities. Pedestrian fatalities account for about 14% of all traffic fatalities across the state. To respond to this growing issue, the Georgia Department of Transportation has implemented a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan.
The Pedestrian Safety Action Plan put focus on identifying pedestrian safety issues, using data to make key decisions and city planning and street planning, and promoting public health. The state has expressed that it wants to make its community as walkable as possible. Georgia acknowledges that walking can play a key role in increasing physical activity, improving economic development, and generally increasing Georgians’ health. So they don’t want to take action that will drive people to get behind the wheel more often. The entire goal is to protect pedestrians.
More Americans are Walking – Good for Environment, Bad for Accident Risk
More Americans are walking now than we’ve seen in recent decades. The rise of vehicle use, and the ease of accessing transportation through rideshare apps, make people heavily reliant on vehicles. But as awareness of environmental impact grew, many people started choosing to walk more often. People are walking to help the environment, and to boost their personal health. Americans are becoming increasingly concerned about the risks of being overweight, complications that come with obesity, and the commonness of conditions like diabetes.
Unfortunately, the rise in pedestrians has contributed to the growing number of pedestrian accidents. At this rate, it’s merely a matter of saturation. More pedestrians will always equal more accidents involving pedestrians.
What the screens need to do is be far more careful and when, and how they walk. Pedestrians should be made thoroughly aware of their duty to yield when they are outside of a crosswalk, and the expectations of drivers to yield to pedestrians. For example, pedestrians cannot cross the road where there is not a marked crosswalk. Simply being a pedestrian does not give you the right of way. But many people don’t know this.
Walking Under the Influence and Walking Distracted
There are two key problems with pedestrians and accidents that are appearing more and more frequently. Walking under the influence and distracted walking. Walking under the influence is the equivalent to driving under the influence, and simply means that you were impaired by alcohol or drugs. If you are walking while intoxicated, you could also have received a ticket for public intoxication. Police throughout Georgia are not being lenient with people who are walking near traffic and are clearly intoxicated.
Police are not showing much leniency with distracted walking, either. If you were on your phone, or had headphones in and decided to cross the street, your safety is still your responsibility.
How to Stay Safe When Walking
The National Highway Transportation Safety Association suggests that pedestrians only sidewalks if at all possible, follow all the rules of the road, and walk facing oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, many pedestrians don’t know the laws of the road, don’t know to walk facing oncoming traffic, don’t know that they don’t always have the right of way, and assume that drivers will stop.
How a Douglasville Car Accident Attorney Can Help You
You should always act predictably when it comes to walking near traffic. Additionally, you should never assume that drivers will stop for you or yield the right-of-way.
If you were involved in a car wreck and were the pedestrian, you may have to prove that you didn’t participate in the accident’s fault. Many people are surprised when they’re faced with an insurance company asking them questions about why they didn’t take different actions to protect themselves. Reach out to John B. Jackson’s law offices for support.