Pedestrian Safety in Atlanta, Georgia

It’s no secret that we have busy, congested roads here in Atlanta. Even with so many cars on the road, there’s still a large number of pedestrians, especially the closer you get to the city. Pedestrians and drivers have rules of the road to follow, so it’s important to know pedestrian safety laws and how you can help each other stay safe.

Read on to learn more about pedestrian safety and how Ross Moore Law can help.

Pedestrian Accident Statistics in Atlanta   

From 2016 to 2020, metro-Atlanta was the 27th most dangerous region for pedestrians in the country. Over the last five years, pedestrian accidents in the Atlanta area have increased by 60%. Despite having less vehicles on the road in 2020, pedestrian accident fatality rates actually rose to 21%, showing a lower number of vehicles on the road doesn’t seem to help the rate of fatal pedestrian accidents.

Many pedestrian accidents occur in Atlanta due to the use of mobile devices by both drivers and pedestrians. This unsafe use of cell phones has led to unaware or distracted pedestrians and drivers not watching out for one another.

One of the leading causes of pedestrian accidents in Atlanta is pedestrians failing to yield to the right of way. Many pedestrians enter an intersection without realizing the vehicles have the right of way. 

Pedestrian Safety Laws in Georgia    

The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has specific laws laid out for the safety of pedestrians and drivers alike. 

If you are crossing a roadway at any point other than a marked crosswalk at an intersection, you are required by law to yield the right of way to all vehicles unless you’ve already entered the roadway under safe conditions. 

If you’re crossing at an intersection where traffic-control signals are in use, you must cross within the marked crosswalks. If the intersection involves a diagonal crosswalk, you must not cross unless the traffic-control signals have indicated permission to cross.

If the road or intersection has a pedestrian bridge overhead or a pedestrian tunnel and you choose to use the road to cross instead, you must yield to the vehicles in the roadway. You do not have the right-of-way as the pedestrian.  

Common Pedestrian Injuries in Accidents      

There are a few different scenarios where a pedestrian accident can occur. As a driver, it’s important to always be on the lookout for pedestrians, and for moving vehicles, as a pedestrian. Pedestrians can suffer from injuries ranging from very minor to severe.

Soft tissue damage

Soft tissue damage is a common injury in pedestrian accidents. This type of damage can include contusions, strains, sprains, or more serious damage, such as tears, lacerations, and dislocations. Many of these injuries can heal pretty quickly, but they have potential to cause long-term damage.

Broken bones

Pedestrian accidents can often result in fractured fingers, hands, arms, legs, and even your back. Broken and fractured bones need immediate medical attention and can cause long-term effects.

Traumatic brain injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and concussions are common in pedestrian accidents. One forceful blow to the head is all it takes, and TBIs can result in headaches, dizziness, loss of consciousness, mental health issues, difficulty concentrating, nausea, and vomiting, among other symptoms. 

Spinal cord injury

Spinal cord injuries are one of the more severe injuries that can occur from being struck by a vehicle in a pedestrian accident. Spinal cord injuries require long-term care and can cause paralysis or other life-altering effects.

Steps Pedestrians Can Take to Stay Safe

Your safety is top priority! Follow these steps to help you stay safe on the road while you’re on foot.

–       Carry a flashlight or wear reflective clothing to increase your visibility when walking at night.

–       Always cross the street at a designated crosswalk or intersection if possible.

–       Use a sidewalk or path whenever possible and always walk on the shoulder of the road facing traffic if a safer option isn’t available.

–       Stay alert and avoid using ear buds or electronic devices that can be a distraction or lower your awareness of traffic.

–       Walking while impaired can be dangerous, as alcohol or drug use can decrease coordination and judgment.

–       Don’t assume the other drivers can see you. It’s best to use caution while walking and make eye contact with drivers to make sure you’ve been seen. 

Steps Drivers Can Take to Keep Pedestrians Safe

Drivers can also help keep pedestrians safe and lower the risk of a pedestrian accident. When you’re in the driver’s seat, follow these steps to avoid an accident involving a pedestrian.

–       Look for pedestrians everywhere. They may be walking in an area you cannot see from inside your vehicle or be in a poorly lit area. 

–       Always stop or yield to pedestrians in a crosswalk.

–       If you encounter another vehicle stopped at a crosswalk, do not pass, and assume they are letting a pedestrian cross.

–       Stay alert in areas where children may be present, such as school zones and neighborhoods.

–       Slow down, closely follow the posted speed limit, and follow pedestrian safety laws set forth in your local area or state. 

What to Do If You’ve Been Injured in a Pedestrian Accident   

It’s important to know what to do if you’ve found yourself involved in a pedestrian accident. What you do immediately following your accident can help you in the long run.

Stay Calm and Identify Injuries

While staying calm doesn’t sound like it’d be an easy task, it’s important for your safety. Take a moment to determine if you have any injuries and evaluate whether or not you can move. If you are able to move, do your best to get out of the roadway. 

Call 911 

Once you’ve assessed whether or not you have any injuries, ask someone to call 911. There’s a good chance that a witness has already called but ask to make sure authorities are on their way. Even if you aren’t injured, you’ll need an official police report of the accident. Calling 911 will also prompt emergency services to respond to the accident and assess those involved. 

Get the Driver’s Information

Don’t let the driver leave the scene without getting their name, contact information, and license plate number. When speaking with the driver, do not discuss fault or apologize for anything. What you say can be used against you if the case goes to court. It’s best for everyone to stay on the scene for the police report to be taken. 

Document Evidence

Gather as much evidence as possible as soon as you can after the accident. Take pictures of the scene of the accident, the surrounding area, where the vehicle struck you, any injuries, and any speed signs or directional signs that could be used in your case. If there were any witnesses, get their contact information as well, as they could be called upon to testify in court.

In addition, keep the clothes you were wearing in the same condition they were in at the time of the accident. Your clothes could provide further evidence as to how you were hit by the vehicle. Also, write down everything you remember about the accident as soon as you can, so your memory of the accident doesn’t get clouded, and you won’t lose the small details that may be crucial.

Talk with Your Insurance Company

You will need to take a look at your own insurance policy and also be prepared to talk with the insurance company of the driver involved. You will be asked questions from both insurance companies, so answer truthfully, do not discuss fault, make definitive statements, sign any forms, or agree to a settlement without talking to an attorney.

Contact an Attorney

Getting the help of an experienced legal team, like Ross Moore Law, can help you in the event of a pedestrian accident. They can help you handle the insurance companies, advise you on what you should do or not do, file your case, and fight for you in court.

Contact Ross Moore Law Today! 

Being able to walk to your destination is a great perk, but it’s important to put safety first any time you’re a pedestrian. If you’re involved in a pedestrian accident, call on Ross Moore Law to fight for you in the courtroom. 

Looking for a local personal injury attorney to handle your case? Our team at Ross Moore Law is eager to put our experience to work for you. Call us today or book a free consultation online! 

Conveniently located in the heart of Atlanta, GA, we are proud to serve clients throughout the surrounding areas of Athens, Alpharetta, Peachtree Corners, Marietta and more! In addition to Georgia clients, we welcome Tennessee clients as well! Get in touch today.

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Conveniently located in the heart of Atlanta, GA, we are proud to serve clients throughout the surrounding areas of Athens, Alpharetta, Peachtree Corners, Marietta and more! In addition to Georgia clients, we welcome Tennessee clients as well! Get in touch today.