Pedestrian deaths have been increasing nationwide, and drivers and pedestrians need to be aware of the significant risk on the roads. As the summer weather approaches, understanding the dangers of pedestrian accidents becomes even more important as there are likely to be more people walking during the warm weather months.
When pedestrians are injured or killed in collisions, the pedestrian or his surviving family members should pursue a damage claim if they can prove the driver was at fault. With the help of an Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer, a driver can be made to pay for all damages caused by the pedestrian collision.
Rising Risk of Pedestrian Accidents in Atlanta
Governors’ Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reports that the increase in the number of fatal pedestrian accidents which occurred between 2014 and 2015 was the most substantial increase since 1975 when records were first kept of pedestrian death rates. There has never been a year-to-year increase in pedestrian deaths as large as there was between 2014 and 2015.
In 2014, there were 2,232 pedestrians killed in the first six months of the year. In 2015, there were 2,368 pedestrians killed in the first half of the year. While the final data for all of 2015 is not yet available, these preliminary numbers are enough for safety experts to estimate a 10 percent increase from 2014 to 2015 in the number of pedestrians killed.
As the number of pedestrian deaths has dramatically increased, pedestrian victims have been making up an ever-greater percentage of total victims killed in collisions. Ten years ago, pedestrians accounted for 10 percent of the people killed in car accidents and now 15 percent of the people who lose their lives in motor vehicle crashes were people who were walking at the time of the deadly accident.
One of the major reasons why there were so many more pedestrians killed during 2015 was because the roads were more crowded. The improvements in economic conditions, including more people working coupled with lower gas prices, resulted in increased traffic and a record number of miles being driven over the course of the year. Since there were more drivers, there was more of a chance for pedestrians to get hit and killed.
Economic conditions are likely to continue improving and gas prices are likely to remain low and even fall further in 2016, so pedestrians should be aware this year is likely to be another dangerous one. Pedestrians, unfortunately, do not benefit from improvements in in-vehicle safety technology which has helped to bring down the death rate in passenger cars. This makes pedestrians especially vulnerable to increased fatalities when there are more people on the roads, and it also helps to explain why pedestrians account for an increasing percentage of victims of fatal crashes.
Drivers need to be cautious, especially in areas with high numbers of pedestrians. If a driver causes a pedestrian collision to occur, the pedestrian or his surviving family members should consult with an attorney for advice on pursuing an accident claim as soon as possible.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a collision. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.