The pedestrian fatality rate in Georgia has reached a critical point. Statistical data reveals a harsh reality that pedestrians face a significantly higher risk here compared to many other parts of the country.
According to the latest data from the Governors Highway Safety Association, Georgia consistently ranks among the states with the highest pedestrian fatality rates. In fact, the state has experienced a troubling increase in pedestrian fatalities in recent years. From January to June 2019 to the same period in 2022, Georgia witnessed a staggering 57.8% rise in pedestrian fatalities.
Physical injuries resulting from pedestrian accidents can range from minor cuts and bruises to severe trauma, fractures, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. The vulnerability of pedestrians in such collisions often leads to more severe injuries than other types of accidents. These injuries may require extensive medical intervention, including surgeries, rehabilitation, and long-term care. In some cases, pedestrian accidents can result in permanent disabilities that significantly impact the victim's quality of life.
An injured pedestrian has the right to seek financial compensation for their injuries and losses resulting from the accident, but navigating the legal process can be complex. An experienced pedestrian accident lawyer can help.
Factors Contributing to the Increase in Pedestrian Accidents
The Georgia Department of Transportation notes a staggering 84% of pedestrian deaths occur during nighttime, highlighting the urgent need for improved lighting and visibility. Insufficiently illuminated roadways pose a substantial risk to pedestrians, as they may not be easily visible to drivers.
Additionally, an overwhelming 95% of pedestrian fatalities happen outside designated crosswalks. This underscores the importance of creating safer pedestrian crossings, enhancing signage, and encouraging responsible pedestrian behavior.
However, the larger responsibility to keep pedestrians safe lies in the hands of drivers who, unlike people on foot, have some level of protection in the event of a crash. Speeding, impaired driving, and other forms of negligence can lead to a car vs. pedestrian accident, but state traffic safety officials say distracted driving is the most significant contributor to Georgia's alarming pedestrian fatality rate.
With the prevalence of smartphones and other electronic devices, drivers face numerous distractions that divert their attention from the road. This includes texting, talking on the phone, or engaging with social media while driving. Such distractions decrease drivers' ability to react promptly to pedestrians and other potential hazards, increasing the likelihood of accidents.
Proposed Regulations and Safety Initiatives
High pedestrian fatality rates aren't just isolated to Georgia, as nationwide, pedestrian deaths are rising. For instance, a report by Autoweek shows that by the end of 2021, pedestrian fatalities caused by vehicle accidents reached a 40-year high, with a 37% increase in overall pedestrian fatalities since 2000.
To combat the issue, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed new rules and standards to enhance pedestrian safety by focusing on two crucial aspects: pedestrian crash tests and standards for automatic emergency braking technology.
Pedestrian crash tests are an essential tool in assessing the safety performance of vehicles and their impact on pedestrian protection. The NHTSA's proposed rules include implementing a pedestrian crash test as part of the vehicle assessment process. This test will evaluate how well vehicles protect pedestrians in the event of a crash, providing valuable safety information for consumers. By incorporating pedestrian crash tests into the evaluation criteria, the NHTSA aims to encourage vehicle manufacturers to prioritize pedestrian safety features and develop vehicles that offer improved protection.
The proposed rules also establish standards for automatic emergency braking (AEB) technology. AEB systems have the potential to prevent or mitigate collisions with pedestrians by automatically applying the brakes when a potential hazard, such as a pedestrian, is detected. The NHTSA's proposed regulations seek to set safety standards for AEB systems, ensuring their effectiveness in preventing accidents and reducing the severity of injuries.
Contact an Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer
While the NHTSA's proposed regulations and safety initiatives can help prevent pedestrian accidents, it's important to remember that it only takes one reckless driver to hit you or someone you love with their car and turn your whole life upside down.
Pedestrian accidents can have devastating consequences, leaving victims with serious injuries or even causing the death of a loved one. At Gary Martin Hays & Associates, we have seen firsthand the unique challenges faced by those impacted by pedestrian accidents, and we are dedicated to helping victims get back on their feet.
The process of dealing with insurance companies can be challenging, as they prioritize their own needs and minimize their own liability. Their goal is to reduce or deny your claim, leaving you struggling to cover medical bills and other losses resulting from the accident. This is where hiring an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer becomes crucial.
Our Georgia pedestrian accident attorneys have been fighting for the rights of accident victims since 1993. We are dedicated to standing up for those who have been knocked down and helping them navigate the legal complexities associated with their claims. Whether you have suffered a broken bone, concussion, brain damage, spinal cord injury, or other serious harm, we are here to advocate for the compensation you deserve.
Do not wait to take action. The sooner you reach out to us, the better we can protect your legal rights and build a strong case on your behalf. Schedule your free consultation by calling 1-800-898-HAYS today.