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Pedestrian Accident Risks around College Campuses

Colleges are in essence their own communities and have specific pedestrian safety challenges as a result. Recently, the Georgia Department of Transportation has responded to some ongoing serious pedestrian safety issues at Georgia College.

There is usually no shortage of hectic pedestrian activity on any given college campus. Students are frequently traveling to and from their various classes and labs. They may also have to travel outside of the campus for recreational activities. Many campuses limit, or even not allow, certain students to have cars on campus which leaves students with limited options for transportation. Alternative transportation options can include walking or bicycling, both of which can be hazardous to do on campus. Unfortunately, accidents involving students who are walking or bicycling from their various activities or classes are far from uncommon.

One study conducted at Johns Hopkins University found that a total of 59 accidents were reported to campus authorities, and 12 percent of these were pedestrian accidents. Most of these pedestrian accidents occurred in the evening and late evening hours. Another study using data from the University of Arkansas also found at least 33 pedestrian accidents over the last few years. Surprisingly, as many as 25 percent of those accidents occurred when students were walking within a designated crosswalk.

Recently, outraged students at Georgia College signed a petition calling for more lights around the college’s campuses to keep pedestrian students safer. According to the student who started the petition drive, there have been at least 4 pedestrian accidents on the campus this year alone. There have been several more near-misses and close calls. Much of the risk to students has to do with the fact that the crosswalks around the campus are very poorly lit. The student started a petition to get authorities to do more to keep students safe, and the petition quickly garnered more than 2000 signatures.

The Georgia Department of Transportation was alerted to the petition on social media, and has responded saying that it will soon roll out new proposals that it hopes will keep pedestrians safer. One of those proposals that is expected to roll out this summer is a pedestrian scramble, which would get all vehicular traffic to stop as soon as pedestrians push the stop button. Pedestrians would not only be able to cross safely, but would also be able to walk diagonally along the striped areas as well.

Schools and colleges can increase safety for their students by using vibrant markings along crosswalks and pavements. Parking restrictions near crosswalks can also help curb the issue of restricted visibility as a result of all the parked vehicles. High-traffic areas could also benefit from security personnel to handle the flow of pedestrian traffic safely.

On the flip side, pedestrians need to pay attention to their surroundings at all times, and avoid distracted walking habits, such looking down at cell phones. Wearing bright-colored clothing while walking at night, when pedestrian crash risks are higher, can also help minimize the chances of being hit by a vehicle.

If you have been injured in a pedestrian accident, talk to an Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer at the Katz Law Firm, and discuss your eligibility for a legal claim for damages. You may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income, diminished earning capacity and other types of losses.