Has walking become a precarious pastime?: Five key factors behind the upswing in pedestrian accidents

Has walking become a precarious pastime?: Five key factors behind the upswing in pedestrian accidents

Here’s a frightening statistic: Over 100,000 pedestrians a year in the U.S. are struck by vehicles.

Pedestrian injuries and fatalities are rising faster than ever before, according to a study by the Governors Highway Safety Association. “We are projecting the largest year-to-year increase in pedestrian injuries and fatalities since national records have been kept, and therefore we are quite alarmed,” said an author of the study.

But what factors are creating this disturbing increase in pedestrian-car accidents?

While there are many reasons contributing to the upswing, here are five top factors:

1) Cell phones.
Talking on the phone or texting while driving takes a driver’s attention away from the road, making pedestrians harder to notice, especially at night. Pedestrians are also to blame with a decreased sense of awareness while using cell phones while walking putting them at an increased risk to being struck by a distracted driver.

2) More people walking.
Whether they are out and walking for health, environmental, or financial reasons, more people walking on the streets means more risk of being hit by a car. City streets are becoming increasingly more crowded, leading to a heightened sense of urgency by walkers who try to cross at unsafe times or walk in areas that can lead to contact with an oncoming vehicle.

3) Urbanization.
Increased exposure to traffic increases the risk of pedestrian accidents. About three-fourths of pedestrian deaths occur in urban areas.

4) Speeding.
Citations for speeding are issued at about the rate of one every second in the US. While not all pedestrian-car accidents involve excess speed, many do. The faster a vehicle is traveling, the less time a driver has to brake for a pedestrian in the roadway.

5) Alcohol.
Drinking puts not only drivers but also pedestrians at greater risk of an accident. According to the CDC, 49% of auto accidents that resulted in a pedestrian death involved alcohol and driver or pedestrian impairment. Among those, 34% of fatal crashes involved a pedestrian who was intoxicated.

Facts About Pedestrian-Car Accidents in Georgia

  • In Georgia, about 170 pedestrians per year are killed by cars and other vehicles.
  • Georgia law requires drivers to “exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian.”
  • Pedestrians must yield the right of way to a vehicle unless they have already safely entered the road.
  • Pedestrians who cross the road between intersections that have traffic signals are jaywalking in violation of the law. However, pedestrians are allowed to cross the street at any intersection, whether it has a painted crosswalk or not.

What to Do If You Are Hit by an Automobile

If you or a loved one are injured while walking, it’s vital that you contact a car accident lawyer in Marietta, GA right away. Pedestrians involved in an accident where the driver was at fault are entitled to recover medical expenses, lost wages, funeral expenses, other out-of-pocket losses, pain and suffering, and other damages.

Pedestrian accidents usually involve serious injuries and determining fault can be complicated. Let an experienced Marietta car accident lawyer help you get on the road to recovery.