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Understanding laws can prevent pedestrian accidents

Pedestrian accidents happen in every city and state, including Atlanta, Georgia. These often result in severe injuries that adversely affect the individuals suffering them for decades. For that reason, it is important to know the laws about pedestrians.

One key thing has been true since 1995. That year, the Georgia legislature made a key change to the crosswalk law. Instead of just yielding, which some drivers interpreted as slowing down, drivers must stop and stay stopped when approaching a pedestrian crossing in a crosswalk.

This eliminates ambiguity and lets the pedestrian know for sure that the driver will not drive across the crosswalk while the pedestrian is in it. It also lets the driver know that the pedestrian is not going to rush across or otherwise take responsibility for getting out of the way of a slowly moving vehicle. The responsibility is on the driver, who must make sure that the pedestrian is all the way across before moving again.

Of note, this law applies when a pedestrian is at all in the crosswalk in the roadway a driver is driving on, and it also applies, just as much, when a pedestrian is halfway or more across the crosswalk on opposing lanes of traffic. So, if a pedestrian is halfway across the southbound lanes, heading towards the northbound lanes, drivers on the northbound lanes still have to stop.

This requires drivers to be very aware of all crosswalks and all pedestrians in them. Failing to be very aware will lead to accidents, injuries, and lawsuits. It is always best to prevent accidents, and their corresponding physical and legal consequences, by following the basic safety measures noted in this article.

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