A report published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution outlines how pedestrian-involved fatal accidents have increased by 17% since last year. Fatal motor vehicle accidents are on the rise as well. Data compiled by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and other government agencies shows that these have increased by as much as 8% since last year. There were 1,165 fatalities tallied by September of this year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) contends that pedestrians have one-and-a-half times the risk of dying on our roadways than motorists do. It can be helpful to know what some of the risk factors endanger your life as a pedestrian.
What factors put pedestrians at risk for catastrophic injuries?
CDC research shows that pedestrians who do the following are at a higher risk of being struck by a motorist than others:
- Don’t wear reflective or bright-colored clothes at night or in other situations in which visibility is poor
- Use electronic devices, including smartphones, or listen to music through their headphones
- Take a stroll while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Don’t use sidewalks when provided, instead choosing to walk in the roadway
- Fail to use designated walkways or cross when they have a signal to do so
These accidents are largely preventable. It just takes motorists doing their part to watch out for pedestrians to ensure that they remain safe.
Some pedestrians have a higher risk of injury than others
CDC data shows that elderly individuals and kids are most apt to get stuck by a car. Statistics prove that at least 20% of pedestrians who die are under age 15; another 10% are over 65.
Pedestrians have rights post-accident, too
Many injured pedestrians or the loved ones that they leave behind assume that since they weren’t in a vehicle when they got hurt, they don’t have any way to recover compensation for medical bills or funeral costs. That’s certainly not the case. You can hold the motorist who struck you or your loved one liable for the injuries they caused. Take time to learn more about Georgia law and the rights it affords you.