In the past two months, two pedestrians have been killed after being struck by a vehicle on major roadways. The first occurred early Monday morning on I-75/85 south of downtown Atlanta. The man was standing in the roadway near Langford Parkway around 1:30 am when he was struck by a small vehicle. The impact through the man into traffic, causing him to be struck additional times. According to the AJC, The driver told police he had tried to avoid hitting the man but was unable to do so. The southbound lanes of 75/85 were shut down for several hours while police investigated the incident.
An additional fatality occurred in Cobb County, Georgia on South Cobb Drive. Around 9:30 pm on Sunday evening, a pedestrian was struck while crossing to Pinehill Drive. He was transported to the emergency room but did not survive his injuries.
Most pedestrian deaths occur in urban environments at non-intersection locations rather than in intersections or rural areas. As high as 70% of these fatalities occur during the night. Most weekday pedestrian deaths occur between 4 p.m. and midnight--not surprisingly, most fatalities on the weekends happen between 8 p.m. and 4.am.
To investigate the cause of fatal pedestrian collisions in major cities, a study was done in Gainesville, Florida on the yielding averages of local drivers. The study showed that yielding percentages showed positive results when officers introduced flyers, street signs, and increased citations for failing to yield. Many pedestrian-awareness programs are currently being implemented throughout major cities across the United States to increase awareness of the deadly effects of careless driving, such as the NHTSA's "Everyone Is A Pedestrian" program.
Check out the below tips for avoiding pedestrian deaths and injuries on the roadway:
- Look out for pedestrians, especially in hard-to-see conditions such as at night or in bad weather.
- Slow down and be prepared to stop when turning or entering a crosswalk, where pedestrians are likely to be.
- Stop at the crosswalk stop line to give drivers in other lanes an opportunity to see and yield to pedestrians, too.
- Be cautious when backing up--pedestrians, especially young children, can move across your path and may be difficult to see.
- Be predictable. Follow the rules of the road, cross at crosswalks or intersections, and obey signs and signals.
- Walk facing traffic and as far from traffic as possible if there is no sidewalk.
- Pay attention to the traffic moving around you. This is not the time to be texting or talking on a cell phone.
- Make eye contact with drivers as they approach. Never assume a driver sees you.
- Wear bright clothing during the day and reflective materials at night.
- Always look left-right-left before crossing a street.