Articles Posted in Pedestrian Accidents

You’ve probably heard the very old, very common saying: “Pedestrians have the right of way.” While it’s a good idea to always give pedestrians a little more leeway than you would ordinarily give to vehicles, it is not true that pedestrians always have the right of way. Laws regarding pedestrian right of way vary by state, but below, we will take a look at how the law works in Georgia.

When Pedestrians Have the Right of Way

  • Crosswalks: Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks. In Georgia, drivers are required to come to a full stop (not just yield) when a pedestrian is within a crosswalk that is on the half of the roadway upon which the car is driving, or when the pedestrian is approaching and is within one lane of the half of the roadway on which the vehicle is traveling or turning onto. “Half of the roadway” in this case means all traffic lanes carrying traffic in one direction of travel. So if you are driving on a road that has five lanes (two going in each direction with a turn lane between them), and a pedestrian enters from the far side of the road walking across your path, you must stop as soon as they enter the turn lane–this is the lane that is within one lane of the half of the roadway on which you are driving.

Traveling by foot is not terribly common in the United States. In fact, only 11% of transport happens on foot, yet pedestrians are involved in 13% of vehicle-related fatalities. Each year, more than 4,000 pedestrians are killed in collisions with automobiles, while another 70,000 are injured. These are shocking statistics , but what is even more shocking is that the majority of pedestrian accidents are not caused by the behavior of drivers, but by the pedestrians themselves.

Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , 73% of pedestrian fatalities occur in urban areas, which is to be expected, since foot travel is more common in more densely populated areas. Thus, being a pedestrian in an urban environment alone increases your risk of being involved in an accident, but there are a few more specific causes of pedestrian accidents. Some of these situations are the fault of the pedestrian, while others are the fault of the urban environment.

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