As an Atlanta personal injury lawyer, I was depressed to read in the AJC online about another pedestrian being hit by a car and critically injured in Marietta, Georgia. According to the article, the pedestrian was struck last Friday night while walking across the road in a cross walk. The initial investigation by law enforcement appears to indicate that he may have been crossing the intersection against the light. If, indeed, the pedestrian was walking against the light, it is a shame. By simply waiting for the walk signal, the incident most likely would not have occurred.
It seems that everyday I am reading about someone being hit by a car while crossing metro Atlanta streets. In almost every situation, it is the careless behavior of the pedestrian or the driver of the vehicle that is the cause of the accident. If both of these individuals were following the rules of the road and obeying the traffic signals, most of these incidents would not occur.
When crossing a roadway, pedestrians are required to cross in a crosswalk. Additionally, when crossing at an intersection with a lighted traffic control device, the pedestrian must wait to cross when they have the green light or the pedestrian signal allows the crossing. If crossing at an intersection that is controlled by a stop sign, the pedestrian must wait their turn, the same as if they were driving a car.
Of course, drivers also need to follow the rules of the road and the traffic control devices. At a marked pedestrian crosswalk that is not at an intersection, drivers must yield to pedestrians. (Of course, if you are a pedestrian, don't challenge a driver that does not appear to be stopping. Even thought you can bring a claim against the driver if he hit you, it will not end up well for you.) At intersections, the main thing drivers must do is to obey the traffic signals. The other most important thing drivers must do is watch for pedestrians when turning left at intersections and into private drives. Many pedestrians are hit when drivers do not keep a proper lookout while turning left.
Unfortunately, the consequences of pedestrian vs. vehicle accidents are often catastrophic. The human body is no match for a car or truck, and the result of a collision between the two is often devastating injuries and death. Hopefully, both metro Atlanta drivers and pedestrians will start to take more care when negotiating each other on our roads lowering the number of these accidents. If, however, you or a loved one has been the victim of a pedestrian accident, please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss your possible claims for your damages.