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DeKalb County Boosts Pedestrian Safety Efforts

There is no doubt that the metro-Atlanta area is growing by leaps and bounds.  With that growth comes increased traffic, congestion, and unfortunately motor vehicle accidents.   Some of these accidents can be deadly, especially when a pedestrian is involved.

DeKalb County is the second most dangerous county for pedestrians in Georgia, second only to Fulton County. In fact, between 2014 and 2016, there were a total of 67 pedestrian accident fatalities in DeKalb County. Pedestrian deaths, during this period of time, accounted for around one- third of all traffic accident fatalities in the county.

Alarmed by these statistics, officials at DeKalb County have decided to take firm and strategic action to reduce the number of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents, and make the county roads safer for all. DeKalb County Health Board officials are discussing ways to reduce these fatalities with Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety officials, as well as representatives from the DeKalb County Police Department and other concerned pedestrian safety advocates.

Officials are already making some progress. They have identified some of the most at-risk areas for pedestrians in the county. These are typically busy thoroughfares where motorists are usually not paying attention to pedestrians and bicyclists. Officials will also likely look at the kind of structural enhancements that can be made at these areas in order to make these roads safer for pedestrians to walk on.

Pedestrians are some of the most vulnerable users of our roads, and because they are fewer in number compared to motorists, their rights are often overlooked as compared to the rights of passenger car drivers.  A major factor in the high number of pedestrian accident deaths in Georgia is the negligence of motorists who, in far too many cases, simply aren’t paying enough attention to pedestrians and bicyclists. In fact, distracted and inattentive drivers are by far the biggest danger to pedestrians on the road.

Despite recent hands-free laws, distracted driving is still a major threat to pedestrian safety and a leading factor in pedestrian accidents around Georgia. Far too any motorists are engaged in other activities, like reading emails or text messages and talking on the cell phone, while driving.  This in turn prevents drivers from seeing pedestrians in their path, and the result is often deadly. Cellphones aren’t the only source of distraction in a car.  The introduction of an array of in-car entertainment and voice recognition technologies that allow motorists to use their cars as an extension of their workplaces and social lives have also added to the growing risk of distracted driving.

Other counties in Georgia must take DeKalb County’s example seriously and make more efforts to prevent these accidents and keep pedestrians safe.  City planners can also help improve pedestrian safety when designing new roads or road improvements.   Factors such as poor lighting, lack of appropriate spaces for pedestrians to walk on, and roads with steep curves, should be addressed so that certain areas and intersections don’t become accident magnets for pedestrians.

The Atlanta pedestrian accident attorneys at the Katz Law Firm represent persons injured in pedestrian accidents in and around the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a pedestrian accident in Atlanta, call a pedestrian accident lawyer at our Atlanta firm, and discuss whether you have a legal right to a claim for compensation for your losses.