Articles Tagged with pedestrian accidents

No parent with young children wants to even contemplate a child of theirs being hit by a car while playing in the neighborhood. The fact is, though, that it happens, and it happens far more often than most people probably realize. In 2009 it was estimated that, on average, every year about 900 pedestrians 18 or younger were killed in traffic accidents. An additional 51,000 were injured, with more than 5,000 of those requiring hospitalization. Younger children made up less than a quarter of those 18-and-under pedestrian fatalities, but big numbers are not necessary for something to be a tragedy. Every young child struck by a car, much less killed, is a tragedy.

Child Pedestrians are at Risk Near Traffic

There were 6,205 pedestrian deaths total in 2019, representing 17% of all traffic-accident deaths. However, those statistics include only traffic deaths, meaning those deaths that occurred on roadways. An estimated 7,668 pedestrians died in 2019 in all vehicular accidents, including those fatalities that happened in accidents that did not occur on public roads. That includes pedestrian deaths that happened in parking lots, driveways, and on private property, resulting in a higher total than reflected by only those pedestrian deaths that occurred on roadways. In 2019, there were 206 pedestrian deaths among children 15 years old and younger, and 424 among pedestrians 20 years old and younger. Of all child deaths in traffic accidents in 2019, 73% were occupants of passenger vehicles, while 16% of those children killed in traffic accidents in 2019 were pedestrians. About 20% of all child traffic fatalities under the age of 15 are pedestrians. Child pedestrian deaths have declined dramatically since 1975, decreasing by 92% from 1975 through 2019. Even so, pedestrians overall are 1.5 times more likely per trip to die in a traffic accident than are the occupants of passenger vehicles.

In late October last year, a pedestrian was killed in Marietta while crossing the intersection of South Marietta Parkway and Aviation Road. While tragic, pedestrian deaths are all too common and on the rise. In fact, a nationwide report found that in 2019, pedestrian deaths in the United States hit their highest level since 1988, with an estimated 6,590 pedestrians killed in traffic accidents. Further mirroring national trends, the Marietta pedestrian death occurred during darkness, more than two hours before sunrise. The death also highlighted national trends, as roughly one in five pedestrian deaths in the U.S. occur in intersections.

Walking Near Vehicular Traffic is a Dangerous Proposition

Let’s face it, walking along a roadway – let alone crossing one – can be a hazardous proposition. In 2017, an estimated 137,000 pedestrians were treated in emergency rooms following traffic accidents. There is no telling how many did not seek ER treatment. Given the estimated 6,590 pedestrian traffic deaths in 2019, which is up from 2017, it is reasonable to believe that traffic injuries to pedestrians that were treated in emergency rooms also increased from 2017. Based on 2017 statistics, pedestrians are 1.5 times more likely to be killed in a traffic accident, per trip, than are passenger vehicle occupants.

On October 17, a man was struck by a motor vehicle while crossing I-75 on foot. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene, and the driver of the car that struck him indicated that the victim walked out into the lane in front of his vehicle. In Georgia, there were 261 pedestrian fatalities in 2018, and 253 in 2017. Pedestrian deaths in Georgia increased by 60% between 2013 and 2018. Authorities are still investigating the circumstances of the incident and the cause of the pedestrian crossing the highway on that point.

Pedestrians who suffer injuries after being struck by motor vehicles may be entitled to recover damages by filing a personal injury claim.

Negligence and Personal Injury Claims

The Atlanta region is widely known as one of the most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians. All Georgia drivers have a legal duty to stop and yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk. But pedestrians must also exercise care. Among other things, if a pedestrian crosses a road outside of a clearly marked crosswalk, he or she must yield to traffic. A pedestrian who ignores this rule assumes the risk of injury and may not be able to win a personal injury claim if hit by a car.

Politzer v. Xiaoyan

Here is an example of how Georgia courts will not show much sympathy for a pedestrian who fails to follow the rules of the road. The plaintiff in this case was out walking in her neighborhood one evening. It was already dark out and the plaintiff was wearing mostly black clothing. As she was completing her walk and returning home, the plaintiff crossed a road outside of the crosswalk, which she claimed was “unsafe” because drivers were known to speed through the intersection without stopping and yielding to pedestrians.

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