According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), a non-profit organization that tracks and reports on traffic accidents across the country, Georgia consistently ranks among the 10 worst states for pedestrian accidents. Completed data shows that there were 322 pedestrian fatalities in Georgia in 2021. Although more time is needed to reach a definite conclusion, preliminary data for 2022 predicts at least that many. In fact, Georgia is predicted to be the 4th worst state for pedestrian safety despite being the 8th most populous state.
Past investigations have shown that nearly 90% of pedestrian fatalities in Georgia happen on less than 10% of the state’s roads. Furthermore, the majority of the worst pedestrian accidents consistently happen in Atlanta, the largest city in Georgia. One investigation even found that three streets in Atlanta see an inordinately high number of pedestrian accidents: Moreland Avenue, MLK Jr. Drive, and Cascade Road.
To make matters more concerning, GHSA data also shows that the number of pedestrian accidents in Georgia has increased significantly in recent years. For example, in 2019, there were roughly 33% fewer pedestrian fatalities than what is estimated in 2022.
Pedestrian Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility
The number of pedestrian accidents in Georgia and any other state will not go down on its own. It will take a conscious effort from pedestrians and motorists alike to share the road safer.
Safety tips for pedestrians include:
- Plan ahead of time to make sure that your route is in an area with less traffic and fewer large vehicles.
- When possible, walk on the sidewalk instead of walking in the street.
- Follow pedestrian signals at crosswalks and intersections whenever possible.
- Make sure that you always look both ways when crossing the street or trying to enter a busy intersection.
- Wear bright and reflective clothing during the day or night so that drivers can easily identify you from a distance.
- Never assume that a driver has seen you while crossing the street — make sure they have stopped before continuing across.
- Avoid using headphones while walking as they can block out important sounds like sirens, traffic noise, or approaching vehicles that may indicate potential danger to you as a pedestrian.
Safety tips for drivers include:
- Be sure to always follow the speed limit, especially in areas with a lot of pedestrian activity such as school zones or residential neighborhoods.
- Look out for pedestrians at crosswalks and intersections and be aware that they may start crossing without warning or even against crosswalk signals.
- Pay attention to children who may enter the street without looking both ways or judging their distance correctly from approaching vehicles.
- Use your turn signals when turning so that pedestrians can anticipate your movements at intersections.
- Make sure to slow down in low-visibility conditions like rain, fog, or sunset/sunrise hours.
Legal Action After a Pedestrian Accident
If you have been hit by a car while walking, it is important to speak to a pedestrian accident attorney as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can help you file a claim in pursuit of a recovery that pays for any medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages that may have occurred due to the accident.
The Law Office of Joshua W. Branch, LLC has offices in Atlanta and Athens. If you were hit by a driver in Georgia who wasn’t paying attention, then we want to hear from you to see if we can help. Call (706) 760-9220 or contact us online.