Smart Growth America recently published its newest edition of “Dangerous by Design,” a report that highlights the cities in America where pedestrians face the most danger. Our Atlanta personal injury lawyers are disturbed to discover that Atlanta has once again been declared one of the most dangerous cities in that report.
Over its time compiling the “Dangerous by Design” report, Smart Growth America has formulated a Pedestrian Danger Index that helps to determine the risk a pedestrian faces in each city based off of injuries and deaths. The Atlanta, Sandy Springs and Marietta area has a Pedestrian Danger Index of 119.4, coming in eighth on the list.
According to the research our Atlanta personal injury attorneys have found, having a strong walking culture is a major draw for cities and neighborhoods in America. Georgia government officials have acknowledged this through their efforts to increase the number of pedestrians in neighborhood areas. An increase in pedestrians would also decrease some of the traffic congestion the city faces, especially on surface streets.
Unfortunately, the promotion of a pedestrian culture in Atlanta has not been accompanied by changes to the existing pedestrian infrastructure. The number of designated crosswalks has not increased significantly, nor have any initiatives been targeted at drivers to increase awareness of Georgia’s laws that require drivers to yield right of way to pedestrians. Our personal injury attorneys in Atlanta believe that it only invites danger to encourage increases in pedestrian traffic without simultaneously taking steps to make pedestrian travel safer.
Another issue Atlanta-area pedestrians face is city drivers’ obsession with speed. Drivers in Atlanta feel that they must drive at least 10 miles per hour over the speed limit on many roads just to keep pace with traffic. When you combine this with even a 30 mph speed limit, only one in every 10 pedestrians hit will survive the accident. If people actually drive at that limit, survivability goes up significantly. However, pedestrians fare even better at lower speeds, which is why our Atlanta personal injury team encourages lower speed limits in neighborhoods and speed deterrents.
Motorists must also be encouraged to watch out for pedestrians. Our personal injury law firm knows that no driver wants to be responsible for the injury or death of a pedestrian, but we are concerned that drivers are just unaware of the dangers. We recommend that drivers keep an eye out for pedestrians near intersections, K-12 schools, college campuses, bus stops and other popular pedestrian areas. Remember to slow down when near pedestrians as an accidental fall could occur and put them in harm’s way.