Articles Posted in Pedestrian accidents

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Faulty car brakes can cause horrific accidents usually resulting in serious injuries.  Federal regulators are working on new laws in the next couple of years that would require auto manufacturers to install automatic emergency braking systems in their cars. Safety advocates, however, are calling on regulators to require manufacturers to install systems that work in all light conditions, including at night.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has made it clear that it will be working on completing rulemaking by 2024, requiring auto manufacturers to install pedestrian automatic emergency braking systems in all their automobiles. These systems work at detecting pedestrians in the path of the car. There is significant research that shows the efficacy of these systems in helping protect pedestrians against accidents. For instance, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has conducted research that clearly shows the benefits of pedestrian automatic emergency braking systems in helping motorists to avoid pedestrians. Collisions with motor vehicles are a major cause of injuries and fatalities in pedestrian accidents every year.

The researchers found that the systems significantly help prevent collisions in the daytime. There isn’t significant data pointing to the effectiveness of the systems at night, however.  The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is calling on federal regulators to pressure automakers to install pedestrian automatic emergency braking systems that work both in the daytime as well as at night. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it has found in its studies that these systems can be enhanced to make them very effective during low visibility conditions like night-time as well.

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The Governors Highway Safety Association says that pedestrian accident fatalities increased significantly in 2020 and the months after. Seven states, including the state of Georgia, contributed to more than 50% of those pedestrian accident deaths.

Previous data has shown that the number of motor vehicle crash–related deaths across the country overall has increased since 2020, and pedestrian accident fatalities seem to have constituted a significant percentage of the total. In 2020, according to data by the Governors Highway Safety Association, a total of 6,700 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents across the country. That was a statistically significant increase of 5% over the 6,412 pedestrians who were killed in accidents in 2019.

The pedestrian accident fatality rate in 2020 actually rose to 21% in spite of the fact that there were fewer vehicles on the road as a result of the pandemic. The fact that there were fewer vehicles on the road does not seem to have had any kind of negative impact on the number of accidents on our roads, and this is a matter of huge concern.

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It’s been heartening to see a stronger emphasis on minimizing traffic accident fatalities, not just by auto safety organizations, but also by lawmakers. In recent weeks, a number of non-profit advocacy organizations have come together to support advocacy efforts as well as initiatives by lawmakers to minimize the number of Americans killed in traffic accidents.

Advocacy organizations like the Governor’s Highway Safety Association and Advocates for Highway and Highway Safety have spent months calling attention to the higher numbers of accident fatalities that occurred last year in spite of a 10% drop in the number of vehicle miles travelled. Those statistics indicate that we have a very serious problem with traffic safety in the United States. For one thing, too many U.S. cities are designed to make it easier to drive rather than walk or bike. Our transportation system, unfortunately, makes it easier to get from point A to point B using a car, as opposed to using mass transit or walking. Those are unacceptable realities, and simply add to the problem of our congested streets.

For our streets to be less congested and safer, we need to add bicycling and walking safely to the list of viable transport options. Safety advocates are calling for the installation of more dedicated and exclusive bicycle lanes in metropolitan areas, including the metro Atlanta region. Exclusive bike lanes are lanes that are meant solely for the use of bicyclists, and are separated from car lanes by a physical barrier that prevents them from coming into direct contact with cars. Experts at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute say that for bicycle lanes to be considered safe, they must be separated from car lanes by more than a slap of paint. Our roads need to be designed with the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists in mind. An overwhelming majority of metropolitan areas in the country are not designed to make it safer to bike or walk compared to drive.

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The federal administration is marking the month of October as Pedestrian Safety Month, drawing attention to the need for motorists to make more efforts to look out for pedestrians while driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has marked the month of October as Pedestrian Safety Month with a singular goal in mind which is to raise awareness of the need to ensure that people can walk safely without the fear of accidents and to keep the safety of pedestrians in mind when they are out at all times. The National Highway Traffic Safety administration is dedicating each week in October to different safety themes.

Week 1 is dedicated to educating the public about the fact that at some point in the day, every person is a pedestrian. Whether you are walking into your office building from the parking lot, or walking home from work, you are still a pedestrian for a certain amount of time. Accidents can occur even in parking areas when motorists fail to look out for pedestrians who may be in the area.

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New state-specific data about pedestrian accident fatalities in 2020 has been released, and it shows that there was a significant increase in accident deaths recorded last year in Georgia.

The Governor’s Highway Safety Association recently released a new report titled Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State, which tabulates the projected number of fatalities in 2020 in each state.  Overall, there was a significant increase in pedestrian accident deaths in 2020, compared to 2019. In 2020, there were a total of 6,721 projected pedestrian accident deaths, compared to a total of 6,412 the previous year. This constitutes an increase of 4.8% nationwide from the previous year. Overall, 309 more pedestrians died in 2020, compared to 2019.

The picture is equally dismal in Georgia, which recorded a 14% increase in the number of pedestrians killed in accidents across the state in 2020. There were a total of 239 pedestrian accident deaths in Georgia, while that number increased to 273 in 2020. That makes it an increase of 34 pedestrian deaths or a 14% increase in the number of deaths involving pedestrians.

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Thousands of injuries every year occur in accidents caused when motorists crash into disabled vehicles that have been parked onto the side of the road and are not visible to motorists.

According to a new report published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, these accidents result in hundreds of fatalities every year.  The data analyzed revealed that there were 566 car accident fatalities between 2016 and 2018, all involving accidents featuring a disabled or stopped vehicle. In all of these accidents, visibility was rated as a likely factor in the accident. These accidents resulted in more than 14,371 injuries, and cost more than $8.8 billion in lost income and other accident-related losses.

Visibility is often a major factor in these accidents. The researchers found that 95% of accidents involving stopped vehicles featured a vehicle crashing into the stationary or stopped vehicle. More than 50% of the fatalities involved a car hitting a person who was walking back to the stopped vehicle or working on the disabled vehicle. As many as one in 5 severe injuries were the result of such pedestrian motorists walking around the disabled car.  When the stopped vehicle situation occurs at night, it makes the chances of a collision ever more imminent.

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The year 2020 is likely to be known not just as the year of the pandemic, but, unfortunately, also the year of record pedestrian accident deaths.  Those fatality numbers touched record highs during the first six months of 2020, in spite of the fact that fewer people were driving during this period of time.

According to the statistics released by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, while there were fewer vehicle miles driven during the first 6 months of 2020 due to the pandemic, there was an increase in the incidence of dangerous driving behaviors such as speeding and distracted driving. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association points to these factors as possible causes of the significant increase in pedestrian accident deaths during this time.

According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, which released a report titled Spotlight on Highway Safety, there was a 20% increase in pedestrian accident deaths, compared to a 5% increase in all other car accident fatalities, in the country from January to June 2020.

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In Georgia, initiatives continue to grow for less car and more pedestrian friendly areas throughout the state.  A new report, however, identifies the Metro Atlanta- Sandy Springs-Roswell area as one of the most dangerous areas for pedestrians in the country.

This alarming finding was part of a report that found a total of 1,160 pedestrian accidents in the Atlanta- Sandy Springs-Roswell area between 2010 and 2019. That makes it an average rate of approximately 2 pedestrian deaths per 100,000 pedestrians every day.

The list included the top 20 most dangerous areas for pedestrians in the country, and the Metro Atlanta region was the only area in Georgia that featured on the list. This region also had a Pedestrian Danger Index of 152.3. The Pedestrian Danger Index is a rating system that measures how dangerous it is for  pedestrians to walk in an area or state, based on the number of pedestrian deaths that occurred in these areas or states. The data specifically focused on pedestrian accident deaths that occurred between 2010 and 2019.  All data came from the Fatality Analysis reporting system.

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The Governor’s Highway Safety Association marked October as National Pedestrian Safety Month, even as pedestrian safety concerns loom in Atlanta.

Atlanta residents who frequently use Hollowell Parkway, a stretch of state highway that expands from Northside Drive to I-185 have been raising concerns about several pedestrian accidents in the area.  There are no pedestrian crossings on this approximately one-mile stretch of Hollowell Parkway. This means that pedestrians are put to great risk when they have to cross the street. As a result, there have been a number of accidents in the area.

Hollowell Parkway is a very busy highway, that is used very often by trucks. The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition calls this stretch one of the most dangerous roads in Atlanta. According to law enforcement, since 2016 alone, there have been as many as 7 pedestrian accidents on the stretch of road. During the same time, there have been 40 pedestrian injuries occurring on Hollowell Parkway.

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Across the nation, more towns and cities, including Atlanta, are trying to provide more pedestrian-friendly areas.  This in turn means that the potential for more pedestrian accidents exists.

In 2018, more than half of all pedestrian accidents occurred at intersections. These resulted in approximately 6,700 pedestrian injuries, and 1,500 pedestrian fatalities. This indicates the seriousness of the lack of safety measures taken at intersections.  However, studies have shown that simple infrastructure enhancements in these areas can help reduce those risks.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently reported on a study which found that simple enhancements like bollards and rubber curbs can help prevent pedestrians from crossing the street diagonally at intersections, thereby helping prevent many of the pedestrian accidents that result in fatalities every year.

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