Last year was one of the most dangerous in history for pedestrians. This was especially true in Georgia, which was one of just five states where more than 100 pedestrians died over the course of the year. The Governors’ Highway Safety Association reported that the increase in pedestrian accident deaths from 2015 to 2016 was the largest year-to-year increase since record-keeping began, so obviously this was very bad news for walkers.
Many pedestrian accidents occur because drivers engage in irresponsible behavior that puts walkers at risk. If a pedestrian accident occurs and a walker gets hurt, an Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can provide assistance to victims and their families in pursuing a claim for compensation.
Atlanta Pedestrian Accidents Surge in 2016
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, there was an 11 percent increase in the total number of pedestrians killed throughout the United States in 2016, compared with in 2015. This was the “steepest” increase since record-keeping began, both when looking at the total number of fatalities and when considering the percentage increase.
This increase means hundreds more people were killed while they were walking. During the first half of 2015, a total of 2,486 pedestrians died in motor vehicle accidents. In the first six months of 2016, by comparison, there were 2,660 pedestrians who lost their lives.
This year marks the second year in a row where an unprecedented increase in pedestrian deaths occurred. Between 2014 and 2015, there was also a nine percent rise in the number of pedestrians who were killed on U.S. roadways. This means that, in total, there was a 22 percent increase in pedestrians who died in 2016 compared with in 2014.
Most states saw increases in pedestrian fatalities, with more pedestrians in 34 states dying in auto accidents in 2016 compared with in 2015. Just 15 states saw a decline in the number of pedestrians who died in accidents. And, while 10 states had fewer than ten pedestrian fatalities, California, Florida, Georgia, Texas, and New York all had more than 100 pedestrians killed over the course of a single year.
Obviously, with so many pedestrians killed in Georgia, every motorist who walks in Atlanta and surrounding areas needs to be aware of the risks and take steps to try to stay as safe as possible. Walkers should try to stay on sidewalks, wear brightly colored clothing, and cross the street only at designated crosswalks.
Even when pedestrians do everything right, unfortunately accidents can still happen when a driver fails to follow best practices for safety. Drivers need to avoid the types of behaviors that increase the risk of pedestrian collisions, such as driving faster than the speed limit or driving while they are distracted instead of focusing on the road.
If a driver fails to obey the rules or is unreasonably careless and causes a pedestrian to be hurt or to be killed in a collision, it is important for the victim or his family to pursue a claim to hold that careless driver accountable.