Readers of this established Georgia personal injury legal blog might reasonably assume that problematic safety outcomes concerning pedestrians were materially dampened last year.
After all, roadways across the state – and certainly spanning the Atlanta metro’s diverse transportation corridors – saw generally diminished traffic owing to the unprecedented health pandemic.
That curbed traffic flow would logically presume a safer environment for walkers, right?
Notably, it didn’t. In fact, a recent Forbes article spotlights this disturbing reality tied to pedestrian-posed risks and challenges: As compared with relevant data that emerged in 2019, similar research culled from last year revealed a comparatively dangerous landscape for the country’s walkers.
Put another way: Notwithstanding the Covid-19 effect spurring traffic reduction, “The rate at which drivers struck and killed walkers jumped ‘a significant and unsettling’ amount” during the 2020 measuring period.
Key pedestrian-tied takeaways from a seminal safety report
Ironically, the above-cited “safety” research authored by the national nonprofit group Governors Highway Safety Association concludes that last year was anything but safe for walkers across the country. Here are some major GHSA findings:
- Per-mile-driven analysis shows a sheer 20% spike in pedestrian deaths in 2020 as compared with 2019
- Diminished vehicle flow overall was coupled with a surge in risky driving behaviors
- Alcohol consumption was a key catalyst in close to half of all accidents resulting in pedestrian deaths
- SUV and smaller passenger trucks were involved in a significant number of fatal crashes
- Pedestrian deaths continue to rise at a spectacularly high rate nationally as compared with fatalities resulting from other types of accidents
State of the state: Research on Georgia pedestrian challenges
The GHSA research indicates that more than half of all pedestrian deaths reported nationally last year occurred in just seven states.
The appearance of California, Texas, New York and Florida on that undesired list will hardly surprise many readers.
Georgia’s inclusion might, though. Its top-tier placement is obviously alarming and disconcerting.
Moreover, notes one authoritative Georgia legal source on pedestrian accidents and injuries, so too are the recurring – and preventable – catalysts that centrally contribute to catastrophic and deadly injuries for pedestrians. Here are some repeat agents:
- On-board driving distraction (e.g.., phones, food, kids and pets)
- Drug/alcohol impairment
- Speeding and other reckless behind-the-wheel conduct
- Negligent attitude toward pedestrians generally
Walkers in Georgia and nationally are not second-class citizens. Indeed, they are afforded a wide range of legal safeguards implemented to protect them against injury. Any individual with questions or concerns regarding a vehicle-pedestrian accident can contact a proven and empathetic personal injury legal team for aggressive and results-oriented representation.