Pedestrians are constantly in danger in Atlanta, Georgia. Wanton, negligent and reckless drivers may not pay enough attention to the road to notice crossing pedestrians. This can lead to devastating pedestrian collisions – especially in dangerous areas such as Tara Boulevard, DeKalb Avenue, Buford Highway, Monroe Drive, 10th Street and downtown Atlanta. These roads have higher accident rates than most others in Atlanta. If you frequently walk or jog in Atlanta, the Atlanta pedestrian accident attorneys put together a couple of safety tips to decrease your risk of disaster.
Obey Traffic Laws
As a pedestrian, you should never walk in the road unless there is no sidewalk or pedestrian path available. Walking alongside the road increases your risk of a driver striking you. Stick to sidewalks as you make your way through downtown Atlanta. If you have to cross the road, do so at a marked intersection or crosswalk – don’t jaywalk, as this is both dangerous and illegal. Obey traffic control signals and wait your turn before crossing to help ensure your safety. While you can walk facing either direction, it is safer to walk facing oncoming traffic so you can see potential threats and jump out of the way. Never walk or jog while intoxicated.
Do Not Assume a Driver Will Stop
It is an unfortunate reality that most drivers in Atlanta break the rules. They speed, text and drive, drive drunk, drive distracted, run red lights, and fail to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians. When you approach an intersection or crosswalk in Atlanta, stop while still safely on the curb before crossing, even if you bear the right-of-way. Do not assume a driver sees you, and if the driver does see you, do not assume he or she will follow the rules and stop. Instead, assume that the driver will cut you off or run the stop sign. Before crossing in front of an oncoming vehicle, wait for the car to come to a complete stop. Make eye contact with the driver to make sure he or she sees you and is yielding. Then, cross quickly and safely.
Make Yourself Visible
After pedestrian-vehicle collisions, drivers often say they never saw the pedestrians. Pedestrians can be especially difficult to see at night or if they are wearing dark clothes. Wearing brightly colored clothing or a reflective vest could help drivers notice you while walking or jogging in Atlanta. It is also wise to try to exercise during the day rather than between dusk and dawn. Consider attaching a blinking light to your shirt or shoes if you have to walk or run at night.
Stick to Safer Pedestrian Routes
While a route that cuts through downtown Atlanta might be the fastest way to your destination, it is not the safest. Busy metropolitan streets with heavy traffic are frequent settings for pedestrian and bicycle accidents in the city. Add a few minutes to your walk but increase its safety by opting for a more pedestrian-friendly route, such as one that winds through a neighborhood or runs parallel to a major street. If you jog or walk through Atlanta for exercise, try a popular running trail or scenic park instead, such as the Vickery Creek Trail, the Northside BeltLine Trail or Piedmont Park. Stay vigilant no matter where you walk or jog in Atlanta for optimal safety.
Get Help If You Are in a Pedestrian Accident
Atlanta, Georgia is a dangerous place for pedestrians. If you choose to walk, jog or run through Atlanta, do your best to stay safe and reduce your risk of getting into an accident with these safety tips. If a driver does hit you in Atlanta, remain calm and call the police to report the accident. Collect information about the collision for an insurance claim. Go to the hospital for immediate medical care. Then, contact an Atlanta personal injury attorney for assistance with an injury claim.