Pedestrians across the country are dying in record numbers. Even in Atlanta, pedestrian fatalities are increasing at alarming rates as well. According to the Atlanta Regional Commission, the number of bicycle and pedestrian accidents has risen 53% throughout the metro area over the last decade. Even worse, the number of fatal or catastrophic accidents involving a bicyclist or pedestrian has also risen by 26%. Advocacy groups believe that if pedestrian accident numbers continue on this trajectory, an additional 1,100 pedestrians could die across the state of Georgia in the next 4 years.
Why are Atlanta Pedestrians Dying?
Safety experts believe that the increase in pedestrian accidents is due to many separate factors. One of those factors is a rise in distracted driving. Drivers are routinely texting or playing with their GPS devices while driving on the road and this decreases the likelihood of seeing a pedestrian or cyclist in their path.
However, another reason for the increase in pedestrian fatalities is that the roads in and around Atlanta just aren’t built for pedestrians. Over the last 50 years, cities like Atlanta were designed with one thing in mind: transporting cars. Now, pedestrians and cyclists are increasing in these cities and the roadways just aren’t designed to safely transport them. In fact, fast, busy and congested roads like Tara Boulevard and Buford Highway are a nightmare for pedestrians to cross. In town, multi-family residences have cropped up to meet the growing public demand for more affordable housing with walking neighborhoods. Yet, the streets around those areas are still dangerous by design.
Decreasing Pedestrian Deaths Takes Planning
In an effort to improve the safety of Atlanta roads, the Atlanta Regional Commission set a recent goal of reducing the number of traffic fatalities to zero by 2030. This goal was designed after Vision Zero, a Swedish proposal that launched in the 1990s. Sweden used a variety of tools, including road projects and policies to make their roads safer. This included adding additional lighting, widening bike paths, and installing medians that double as pedestrian paths on busy roads. Sweden also targeted main areas where fatalities were common.
A concept like this could work well in Atlanta, where 6% of the city’s streets account for 71% of traffic fatalities and 42% of injuries. Some of the most dangerous streets in Atlanta are:
- Peachtree Street
- Piedmont Road
- Buford Highway
- DeKalb Avenue
- Monroe Drive
- Howell Mill Road
Even voters seem to be on board with improving pedestrian safety in the city. When building the newly designed Mercedes-Benz Stadium, voters approved a measure that would pay to protect pedestrians on the way to the game, including funding for a $24 million pedestrian bridge.
Have You Been Injured in a Pedestrian Accident in Atlanta?
If you or someone you love has been the victim of a pedestrian accident in Atlanta, Georgia, it is important to know your legal options. At Schnipper Law, P.C., our Atlanta pedestrian accident attorneys know the complications that can arise after a pedestrian accident. We know how serious your injuries may be and we fight aggressively for your rights to full and maximum compensation. Call Schnipper Law P.C., at (404) 545-5845 for a free initial consultation and review of your case. We can help you recover the money you need to put your life back together after a serious accident.