Pedestrians Hit By Cars
Georgia law states that drivers must stop and remained stopped for pedestrians – not just yield to them. The law states:
O.C.G.A. § 40-6-91
- The driver of a vehicle shall stop and remain stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross the roadway within a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, or when the pedestrian is approaching and is within one lane of the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling or onto which it is turning. For the purposes of this subsection, “half of the roadway” means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel.
Therefore, it is illegal for drivers to squeeze by, drive around or cut off a pedestrian in a crosswalk – even if there is room.
(b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield
(c) Subsection (a) of this Code section shall not apply under the conditions stated in subsection (b) of Code Section 40-6-92.
(d) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.
Pedestrian Accidents Are On The Rise
The rules of pedestrian crosswalks seem simple. All you have to do is STOP. Unfortunately, an estimated 28,642 pedestrians were killed between 2010 and 2015; showing that stopping is clearly not what drivers are doing. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) says that pedestrian deaths now account for 15% of traffic fatalities. The GHSA further stated that the number of pedestrian deaths increased by 11% over the course of 2015 – nearly 6,000 people were killed in accidents with vehicles.
Accidents Caused by Distracted Driving
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Many safety and state officials are quick to blame both driver and pedestrian for not being alert, a.k.a. distracted. Whether the driver is sending a text or the pedestrian is looking down at their phone, both parties are distracted and at risk of an accident happening. While it is fair to blame the distractive drivers and walkers, there also needs to be a focus on the engineering of crosswalks, enforcement of those who do not stop and education to pedestrians so the number of pedestrian injuries and deaths fall; not rise.
This very subject will be one we will touch on again as the new school year draws nearer. In the meantime, if you are driving or walking, we suggest you take in the scenery, pay attention to the task at hand and be cautious! If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, please contact our office to learn about your legal rights and options.