Georgia has many breathtaking walking trails, and you may be among the many who take advantage of them for pleasure or for improving your health. However, even if you are not an avid walker, chances are you find yourself on foot among traffic from time to time. Whether you are strolling among the eateries and shops in downtown or crossing the parking lot to the grocery store, you know the risks you take when drivers are not aware or respectful of your presence.
Apparently, this situation is happening more frequently across the country, as recent reports show a sharp spike in fatal pedestrian accidents in the past year. However, as national rates of pedestrian deaths creep up a few percentage points, Georgia rates have soared over 30 percent. You may be among the many across the state who wonder why this is happening and how you can stay safe.
Why are pedestrians in trouble?
When a vehicle collides with a pedestrian, even at a low rate of speed, there is potential for great injury. As a pedestrian, you have no protection from the impact and may suffer broken bones, internal injuries, spinal cord injuries or brain damage as a result. More and more often, those catastrophic injuries prove deadly. Some of the common factors that lead to fatal pedestrian accidents include these and others:
- More vehicles are on the road as the population grows and the economy improves.
- Speed limits are increasing.
- People walking at night are difficult to see, especially in suburban areas or in poor weather conditions.
- Not enough streets are designed with pedestrian safety in mind.
- More people drive SUVs, pickups and other large vehicles, which cause greater damage when they strike pedestrians.
Many factors are out of the control of legislatures, such as the weather and the time of day when people walk. However, some factors are entirely under the control of those behind the wheel. More drivers seem to operate their vehicles while distracted by their mobile devices, in-vehicle technology and other things. Additionally, alcohol plays a role in many pedestrian accidents.
If you suffer serious injuries or lose a loved one in a pedestrian accident, you know things will never be the same, and no amount of money can return you to the life you once knew. However, you deserve to have as much information as possible about your options for pursuing compensation so you have a chance at a brighter future.