Pedestrian Fatalities Are Up in Georgia: Why Is it Difficult to Cross the Street?

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Pedestrian fatalities are on the rise in Georgia, which is quite worrying for people walking across roads. Heavy traffic, lack of streetlights, and a shortage of crosswalks are just a few factors in pedestrian fatalities, according to NBC 11Alive. These elements shine a light on the difficulty pedestrians have when trying to safely cross the street.

Pedestrian deaths in Georgia are up 37 percent over the last two years, with 93 percent of those not in a crosswalk, according to 11Alive. “If you cross in an area where there isn’t a crosswalk, normally there isn’t ample lighting. So you’re crossing in a dark area,” said GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale to 11Alive.

The rise in pedestrian fatalities is a concerning issue for those who may already be nervous when attempting to cross the street. Here are a few reasons why it may be difficult for pedestrians to cross the street.

Speeding Drivers

Speeding is a factor in nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In Georgia, there have been several pedestrian fatalities due to drivers speeding down a road.

In November, a driver was going more than twice the posted speed limit at the Tara Boulevard and Mundy’s Mill Road intersection, when the vehicle struck and killed two people, according to CBS 46 News. The driver was charged with reckless driving and vehicular homicide.

Not Enough Time to Cross Wide Roads

Wide, high-speed roads are especially dangerous for pedestrians to cross, according to PEDS, a pedestrian advocacy organization that works to help make streets in Georgia great places to walk. These roads double the risk of a pedestrian crash, because of the addition of multiple through lanes.

Crossing wide streets takes more time, and pedestrians might have to rush across the street in order to not get stuck. On multi-lane roads, a driver’s view of pedestrians is often blocked by cars in other lanes.

Sidewalks in Need of Repair

Several of Atlanta’s sidewalks are in a terrible condition or not present at all for pedestrians, according to the AJC. This had led to pedestrians taking to walking in the roadway just to get to their destination, which could result in a tragic accident.

Resident Santrice Winfrey and her daughter had to walk in the street, because there were no sidewalks in her neighborhood, according to CBS News 46.

“It is very dangerous. When you come around these curves people don’t look, they just fly by. There have been a lot of people hit lately,” Winfrey told News 46.

Not Seen At Night

Walking at night is another major concern for pedestrians. Over half of pedestrian fatalities occur between 6:00 pm and midnight, according to PEDS. In Georgia, over the last two years, 82 percent of deaths were at night, according to 11Alive.

Several studies have shown that a driver’s ability to avoid collisions is impeded under dim lighting, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information. An area where there are no streetlights or illuminating crosswalks can make a pedestrian difficult for a driver to see, which could lead to an accident.

What Can You Do to Stay Safe When Crossing the Street?

There are several ways that you could stay safe when crossing these dangerous roads. First, you should always pay attention when crossing the street, by eliminating distractions such as cell phones or tablets, according to the GDOT.

It is also important that you always remain visible when walking, and remember to cross the street where drivers can see you, according to the GDOT. When walking at night, wear reflective gear or use a flashlight.

You should try to be predictable to drivers by crossing at crosswalks or intersections when possible, according to the GDOT. Also, if no sidewalk is available, walk on the shoulder, facing traffic.

It can be quite difficult for pedestrians to walk across Atlanta’s perilous streets, but by watching out for these obstacles, you could try to stay safe.

However, accidents can still occur when you are doing everything right. If you or a loved one was injured by a negligent driver, we can help. Read more to learn what our car accident attorneys can do for you. If you are ready to pursue a claim, fill out our free, no-risk case evaluation form today.

By Staff

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