Walking is the easiest, most affordable form of exercise around. Fitbit and other digital wearables have bankrolled millions on this fact. Walking is such a commonplace task that itâ€™s almost unbelievable that a brisk walk around the neighborhood could turn out to be deadly.
On average,1 pedestrian is injured every 8 minutes, while others are killed every 2 hours in traffic accidents across the country.
Any time a collision occurs between a human body and a car, the results are bound to be painful for the pedestrian, if not fatal. When the vehicle in question is a large truck or semi, survivors consider themselves very lucky to be alive. Other times the pedestrian loses their life, leaving a family reeling with grief.
Those harmed by negligent drivers deserve justice for their pain and suffering. Something as enjoyable as an evening stroll shouldnâ€™t end in unimaginable pain.
If youâ€™re a pedestrian who has recently been in a trucking accident, youâ€™ll need an experienced legal team to prove negligence and establish liability of the truck driver or company.
How Often Do Pedestrian Accidents Occur
On average, 1 pedestrian is injured every 8 minutes, while others are killed every 2 hours in traffic accidents across the country.
Georgia has seen an unfortunate increase in pedestrian deaths from car accidents since 2011. The Georgia Department of Transportation listed Route 1 in Fulton County, on Peach Street as the place where the highest number of pedestrian deaths occurred.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), 4,735 pedestrians were killed and around 66,000 were injured in crashes in 2013. Large trucks accounted for 71% of pedestrian fatalities.
The potential to be a pedestrian involved in a hit-and-run is frightening – 92% of pedestrians fatally struck were hit by drivers who left the scene. In the state of Georgia, this accounted for 14% of all car accident victims.
Age, time of day and alcohol consumption all play a part in pedestrian accidents. Some risk factors include:
Â· Pedestrians over 40 years old are more likely to die when struck by an oncoming vehicle.
Â· A pedestrian is most likely to be struck on a winter evening between 6-9 pm.
Â· Walking under the influence can be just as bad as driving drunk. An estimated 36% of pedestrians killed had a BAC of .08% or higher.
Â· More than two-thirds of pedestrians killed were males.
Pedestrian Rights and Responsibilities
Right-of-way laws in Georgia are similar to other states in that all drivers must stop before the sidewalk before they exit a driveway, alley or building in order to potentially protect the lives of pedestrians. Drivers must stop for pedestrians in crosswalks and may not park on sidewalks.
20 years ago, Georgia changed the law so that cars not only yield, they must â€śstop and stay stoppedâ€ť for pedestrians. You must also stop if youâ€™re behind the car that has yielded to the pedestrian, you may not drive around them. Drivers found in violation of this and other regulations will be ticketed.
Pedestrians must adhere to the law as well. It is illegal for a person walking, jogging or otherwise ambulatory, to suddenly leave the curb or other place of safety and run into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
Certain roads in Georgia have an incredibly high incidence of pedestrian deaths. Police officials were so frustrated with the number of pedestrian deaths that in 2015, they diligently issued tickets to jay-walkers at one of the busiest intersections in Cobb Country. Whether youâ€™re on foot or behind the wheel, all of us share the responsibility of safety for others on the road.
How Serious Are Injuries in Pedestrian Accidents?
Those lucky enough to survive being hit by 80,000 or more pounds of rubber and metal can tell you firsthand how debilitating and agonizing their injuries are. Broken and fractured bones, bruising, bleeding, contusions, possible concussions â€“ the list of painful possibilities is practically endless.
In a frontal crash, adults tend to suffer from leg injuries, fractures to the pelvis, neck, and traumatic brain injuries. Smaller children struck by cars have a higher risk for traumatic brain injury, as well as chest and upper body injuries.
Brain injuries, concussions, and other serious traumas can be caused even by an impact at low speeds. Falling to the ground at any speed can result in a head injury that requires a doctorâ€™s care and follow up.
The World Health Organization considers pedestrian accidents to be a major threat to public health, with an estimated 1.2 million people killed and another 50 million injured in car accidents worldwide. Pedestrian accidents are thought to cost the U.S. $230.6 billion annually.
Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents
To help avoid tragedy, those who often walk along roads or commute to work on foot are encouraged to wear bright colors and reflective gear.
Pedestrians would do well to remember that large trucks have many blind spots despite the fact that their seat is higher up. Right-hand turns are particularly troublesome and often responsible for pedestrian accidents.
Those on foot often place too much trust in right-of-way laws and outside mirrors, and may unintentionally put themselves in harmâ€™s way â€“ where the driver simply cannot see them. The most frequent causes of pedestrian accidents include, but are not limited to:
Caused by the Pedestrian:
Â· ignoring a traffic signal, or being distracted and mistakenly entering a crosswalk or intersection
Â· tripping on uneven or cracked sidewalks
Â· the pedestrian not walking towards traffic, so they can observe oncoming cars and move if needed
Â· the pedestrian is under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Caused by the Driver:
Â· inattentiveness due to texting, GPS, individuals in the car, etc.
Â· driver fails to comply with traffic signals
Â· driver doesnâ€™t stop at the crosswalk
Â· driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Â· driver is operating the vehicle at high speeds
What to Do If Youâ€™re a Pedestrian Hit by a Truck
The injures from being hit by a semi can be life-changing. They are rarely minor, often requiring immediate intervention for the victimâ€™s survival. Hospital bills, physical therapy, and time missed from work to heal can severely impact a personâ€™s emotional and financial well-being.
Often insurance companies will be eager to settle your claim, but may not offer you the full amount youâ€™re entitled to. For your own protection, never sign anything from an insurance company until you have spoken with an attorney.
The attorneys at Fried Rogers and Goldberg have seen all kinds of truck accident cases, including those involving pedestrians. We offer free case evaluations that are confidential and without obligation to file a lawsuit. We encourage you to contact our office right away so you can be well informed of your legal options. We have the resources necessary for a thorough investigation to fight for the compensation you deserve.