Driving is often a necessity in Atlanta. Georgians drive to get to work, school and to leisure activities, and probably don’t give it a lot to the inherent dangers. Being in an auto accident is always a possibility and this can lead to injuries and death. Many choose to shun the automobile as a way of saving money, getting exercise, benefiting the environment and for many other reasons.
Walking is undoubtedly a positive activity, but it too can be dangerous. Being hit by an automobile when driving or as a passenger is bad enough. If a pedestrian is hit, their vulnerability may result in long-term damage and even fatalities. The statistics for pedestrian accidents are not a comfort either as Georgia saw a huge rise in pedestrian deaths in the first half of 2021. Those who were hurt should be cognizant of the reasons why this is happening as well as specific anecdotes of people being hit by a car.
Report: Georgia had major spike in pedestrian fatalities through June 2021
A report from the Governors Highway Safety Association says that the first half of 2021 was extraordinarily deadly for pedestrians in Georgia. In total, 182 pedestrians lost their lives. This was a 77% increase when compared to 2020 when there were 103. In 2019, there were 109 fatalities. It is worse than the numbers for the nation in general. The national increase was 17% from the first six months of 2020 to the first six months of 2021 with 507 more people dying. This trend has been ongoing for the past 10 years.
It is believed that the way roads are structured, vehicles are built and how drivers behave are concerns that must be addressed. For example, many roads prioritize speed instead of safety. Sidewalks are not designed for pedestrians and there is a lack of sufficient lighting. Drivers are distracted, speed and behave recklessly. Vehicles themselves are heavier and larger since more people are driving SUVs. Even with technological advancements prioritizing safety, people remain at risk.
Recent accident injures woman and her children
An accident involving a woman and her kids when they were hit by a car as they crossed the street at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is a prime example of what can happen and why. In the crash, a toddler was thrown from a stroller. According to the investigation, the woman was in the crosswalk with the children. The driver of a ride-share vehicle stated that he was not watching the road when the accident happened. The people were not seriously hurt, but this exemplifies the type of collision that can happen to pedestrians – including children.
Facing the aftermath of a pedestrian accident can be daunting
An auto accident can result in massive medical expenses, problems with getting back to work and challenges in contributing to a family as before. That is true if the person involved is fortunate enough to survive. In pedestrian crashes – as the GHSA research shows – fatalities are all-too common. Walking in a crosswalk, being visible and predictable are all sound pieces of advice, but that does not always prevent a pedestrian accident. After an accident, those involved and their loved ones should know their rights and take the necessary steps to consider all available options. Discussing the situation with those experienced in these cases can provide information with what to do next.