Pedestrian fatalities continue to rise throughout Georgia
On behalf of Ed Garland
About half of fatal pedestrian accidents happen in the Atlanta area
As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently reported, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle on Interstate 285 in February. The accident occurred just two weeks after another fatal pedestrian accident also happened along I-285. The string of fatalities are a reminder of the dangers faced by pedestrians in the state, particularly in Atlanta. Pedestrian accidents are on the rise in Georgia and experts say pedestrians are at a much higher risk in the state compared to other areas of the country.
Pedestrian fatalities rising
Fatal pedestrian accidents have been increasing throughout the state in recent years. In 2014, Georgia saw 182 pedestrians killed in accidents, the highest number since 1997. Half of those deaths were in metro Atlanta, experts say, with suburban arterial routes accounting for a disproportionate number of fatal accidents.
Statistics show that in the past decade pedestrian fatalities have accounted for 12.3 percent of all deaths on the road. By 2012 statistics showed that pedestrian deaths made up 15 percent of all traffic fatalities across the United States, reports the Athens Banner-Herald.
Georgians at higher risk
Experts say that Georgia tends to see more pedestrian fatalities due to two main factors: an aging population and warm weather. Senior citizens account for a disproportionate share of pedestrian fatalities. An Illinois study, for example, found that seniors make up 23 percent of all pedestrian fatalities despite only accounting for 13 percent of the overall population. As people age, reflexes and peripheral vision diminish, making it more difficult to avoid dangerous drivers while crossing the road.
Georgia’s warm weather also means that people have more opportunities to be out walking during most of the year, thus leading to more pedestrian accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends pedestrians wear bright, reflective clothing and to only cross the street at crosswalks, if possible. Walking against traffic also helps increase the pedestrian’s visibility and will also give the pedestrian more time to take evasive action when a hazardous situation presents itself.
Representation for the injured
When an injury happens, the consequences can be severe. Some people, for example, may find that they are unable to return to work, which can present a financial strain on top of the medical and other expenses associated with an accident.
Because of these expenses, compensation is often extremely important for accident victims. Pursuing compensation, however, can be difficult and often requires the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney. Such an attorney can fight for the rights of injured victims and help them understand what options may be open to them after an accident.