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.
Centerline hardening measures like bollards and rubber curbs can help prevent pedestrian accidents in two ways. They prevent the pedestrian from crossing the road diagonally, thereby preventing him from coming in the path of an approaching motorist. They also prevent drivers from turning too close to the curb at the intersection. Motorists are forced to make a left turn at a right angle, thereby preventing the pedestrian from coming onto the path of the car. This reduces the risk that motorists will have to stop suddenly in order to avoid a pedestrian who has appeared in their path.
The installment of such infrastructure enhancements also has other benefits that greatly impact pedestrian safety. It makes sure that motorists reduce their speeds while making a left turn. This in turn makes the roads safer for pedestrians and other drivers alike.
In the study, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety researchers tested the efficacy of such centerline hardening measures in two cities. They found that motorists were less likely to make the turn at speeds greater than 15 mph. This greatly reduced the risk of accidents involving pedestrians at the intersection. When researchers tested these traffic-calming measures at ten intersections, they found that these enhancements reduced the number of pedestrian accidents from seven to two on an average.
An investment in pedestrian safety is an investment in Atlanta communities. Communities are much safer when pedestrians are free to walk and go about their daily activities, without the risk of conflicts with motorists that are so easily preventable. Simple infrastructure enhancements, like rubber curbs, can greatly reduce the risk to pedestrians from motorists making rash turns. Communities in Georgia should be looking at simple and basic enhancements like these, which do not cost too much and are easy and efficient to install, in order to protect pedestrians and improve quality of life for all residents.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident in the metro Atlanta region or across Georgia, speak to a pedestrian accident attorney at the Katz Law Firm, and determine your legal options for a claim for compensation for damages for your losses. You may be eligible for damages that include medical expenses, lost earnings, potential lost earnings, pain and suffering and several other economic as well as non-economic damages. Call our firm and schedule a free consultation with a lawyer. Initial consultations are free, and we work on a contingency basis – you do not have to pay us anything until we recover compensation for you.