Nationwide, there was a 10 percent increase in pedestrian accident fatalities between 2014 and 2015. Governors Highway Safety Association reported on this troubling increase in the number of pedestrians who died in car accidents. GHSA also indicated pedestrian deaths rose to 15 percent of all fatalities in car accidents in 2014 and 2015, compared with just 11 percent in 2005 to 2007. Prior to those past two years, it had been 25 years since pedestrians accounts for 15 percent of people killed in car crashes.
As the number of pedestrians killed in collisions rises, cities like Atlanta are taking steps to try to reduce the number of deaths. The federal government is also providing support and funding. With this funding, new projects can be undertaken to provide safer spaces for pedestrians.
However, it will still remain the responsibility of drivers to avoid taking actions which could cause pedestrian deaths. If a motorist does cause a pedestrian fatality to occur, an Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer should be consulted for help as soon as possible.
Taking Steps to Reduce Atlanta Pedestrian Accidents
Atlanta Journal Constitution reported recently on new efforts being undertaken in Atlanta to try to make the streets safer for pedestrians. According to the article, the city of Atlanta is expected to receive $7.8 million in federal funds to conduct road safety improvement projects designed to improve conditions for both walkers and for bicycle riders. The projects which are to be funded will both make streets safer so fewer collisions occur and will also make streets more inviting by providing safer spaces to walk and ride.
There are several projects which have already been planned which Atlanta is likely to use the federal funds for. For example, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive will be retrofitted in accordance with the Complete Streets effort. The Complete Streets effort is focused on making sure that every street is designed not jut with traffic flow and the needs of drivers in mind, but with a goal towards making the road safe and accessible to all road users. This includes pedestrians, bicycle riders, and also mass transit.
The money from the federal government will also be used to conduct improvements in Midtown, to make Spring Street safer for walking and bicycle riding, and to improve Juniper Street. The mayor of Atlanta was authorized to accept the federal funds in June of 2016 by an ordinance of the Utilities Committee Agenda. This now means that projects can move forward so Atlanta’s streets will soon become safer.
Obviously, there is a lot of work to be done yet, as most streets were designed around making it easier for cars to travel from place to place. The needs of bicycle riders or pedestrians have historically not been taken into account. The good news is, as this changes, hopefully pedestrian death rates will drop. If pedestrians do pass away, however, family members need to understand the ways in which motorists can be held accountable for causing fatalities.
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.