Atlanta Metro Streets Pose Dangers for Pedestrians

Winding through the city of Atlanta, Peachtree Street connects downtown with Buckhead and North Atlanta. The street does not follow a grid, but instead curves and snakes through the city following a ridge that was once a Native American walking trail.

The number of people who walk on Peachtree has continued since the founding of the city, however pedestrian accidents have become more common with the increase in traffic along the street. Last year, Atlanta received the unflattering distinction of being ranked the 11th most deadly metro for pedestrians in the nation.

Between 2000 and 2009, 1,545 pedestrians were killed in Georgia, according to a Transportation for America study. During the same period, 798 people died while walking in the Atlanta/Sandy Springs/Marietta metro area.

Left-Hand Turn Accidents

Crosswalks and walk signals should designate safe road crossings, but left-hand turn pedestrian accidents are common. A New York City study of 7,000 pedestrian accidents found that left-hand turns were three times more likely to result in deadly crashes as compared to right-hand turns.

New York City has since made changes and has installed countdown clocks at intersections. Pedestrians can then see how much time remains to cross the street.

Pedestrians need to be vigilant even when they have a walk signal. Many drivers try to make a quick left turn before the light changes and do not always watch for pedestrians in the crosswalk.

Many times, drivers claim that pedestrians darted in front of them. Even when that is not the case, it can be difficult to prove when the person walking is seriously injured or killed in the accident. A consultation with an Atlanta personal injury attorney can be one way to get to the bottom of what caused the accident.

What is Being Done to Reduce Pedestrian Accidents?

The Georgia Department of Transportation has been working to make roadways safer for pedestrians since 1991. Through consultation with local planners, the Bike/Ped Program has developed and implemented:

  • Regional pedestrian plans throughout the state
  • A design guide for Pedestrian safety
  • Safety and educational materials

In addition, in Atlanta the "Peachtree Corridor Taskforce" has worked for some years to develop a comprehensive improvement plan. One element of the plan involves reintroducing streetcars. Another group called Central Atlanta Progress is working to upgrade pedestrian signage and install decorative planters along Peachtree Street to keep pedestrians from crossing between traffic signals.

Those injured in pedestrian accidents should seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney, because fault can be hard to establish. An attorney can make sure that you receive fair compensation.