Georgia Personal Injury Trial Attorneys

Car Accidents Involving Pedestrians and Bicyclists in Atlanta

By: Fry | Goehring

pedestrian accidents

As a pedestrian walking in Atlanta, you should never have to worry about being hit by a car while walking on the sidewalk. The same applies to bicyclists in Georgia. Regrettably, pedestrian and bicycle accidents are common in Atlanta since drivers fail to follow traffic rules and drive responsibly.

You are not alone if you’ve sustained an injury as a pedestrian or bicyclist in Atlanta. Nonetheless, it’s important to understand your rights and legal options. That’s where Fry Goehring comes in. Our Atlanta pedestrian lawyers can help you get justice and a fair settlement.

Understanding the Rise of Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents in Atlanta’s Urban Landscape

According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS), pedestrian and bicyclist fatalities have increased by 25% from 2019 to 2021. Even though pedestrians and bicyclists represented less than 1% of all people involved in crashes, these groups accounted for 19% of all fatalities in 2021. GOHS also reports that Georgia pedestrians and bicyclists’ emergency room and hospitalization charges were approximately $243 million.

Some of the factors contributing to these rising figures in Atlanta’s urban landscape include:

Navigating Atlanta’s Traffic Laws: Rights and Responsibilities of Pedestrians and Bicyclists

Georgia law governs how drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists must behave, whether on the road or sidewalks. Some of the laws that apply to drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists include:

  • Drivers should never pass vehicles at crosswalks
  • Drivers should pass bicyclists by at least 3 feet
  • Drivers should slow down until it’s safe to pass
  • It’s illegal for people biking to ride on sidewalks unless they are under 12 years old
  • Bicyclists in bike lanes must ride in the same direction as traffic
  • Pedestrians and bicyclists should obey traffic signs and signals
  • Pedestrians should use crosswalks and sidewalks whenever possible
  • Drivers must stop and allow pedestrians to cross when the traffic sign says “WALK”

Analyzing Atlanta’s Most Dangerous Intersections for Non-Motorists

If you’ve walked or cycled in Atlanta, it should not come as a surprise that the roadways are busy. Metro Atlanta has high traffic volumes, making driving through or crossing intersections dangerous. Some of the notable intersections in Atlanta that pose risks to non-motorists include:

  • Bolton Road and Marietta Road
  • 14th Street and Peachtree Road
  • North Druid Hills Road and Briarcliff Road
  • Collier Road at Peachtree Road
  • Delmar Avenue and Delmar Court
  • Habersham Road at West Paces Ferry Road
  • Piedmont Road at Peachtree Road
  • Howell Mill Road and Chattahoochee Road

Always be vigilant if you are walking or cycling near these intersections. Remember, even the most careful pedestrian or cyclist can end up injured at an intersection due to someone else’s negligence.

Vision Zero in Atlanta: Efforts to Reduce Pedestrian and Bicyclist Fatalities

The Georgia Department of Transportation’s (GDOT) SEE & BE SEEN campaign aims to make walking safer for pedestrians in Georgia. GDOT advises drivers to slow down and be on the lookout for pedestrians while driving. The department also urges road users to pay attention while walking or driving, stating that 9 out of 10 pedestrians hit by vehicles traveling at 40mph die.

On the other hand, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) points out that the number of pedestrians and bicyclists injured in roadway crashes has been on the rise. FHWA recommends an integrated approach to improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety that involves 4E’s: engineering, education, enforcement, and emergency services.

To ensure the safety of non-motorists in Georgia, drivers should:

  • Pay attention to the road at all times
  • Slow down when turning and be prepared to stop at crosswalks
  • Use extra caution when driving in bad weather or at night
  • Yield to pedestrians and cyclists at crosswalks
  • Stop well back at crosswalks to allow other drivers to see crossing pedestrians and cyclists
  • Never pass stationary cars at crosswalks
  • Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Follow the speed limit
  • Be extra careful when backing up

Pedestrian and bicyclist safety is a shared responsibility that also falls on non-motorists. Some of the tips that pedestrians and bicyclists can adopt to reduce fatalities in Georgia include:

  • Following the rules of the road
  • Obeying traffic signs and signals
  • Crossing streets at crosswalks
  • Walking in the same direction as traffic if there is no sidewalk
  • Watching for cars backing up in parking lots or driveways
  • Avoiding drugs or alcohol when walking or cycling
  • Locating a well-lit area to cross if there is no crosswalk

Federal and state agencies such as GDOT can also help reduce pedestrian and cyclist fatalities by designing smarter streets. This may involve introducing traffic calming methods in accident-prone areas, such as speed humps, roundabouts, and curb extensions. These agencies can also introduce protected bicycle lanes in cities in Georgia to reduce bicycle accidents.

Steps to Take Following a Car Accident Involving a Pedestrian or Bicyclist

Most car accidents involving pedestrians or bicyclists are preventable. When you are involved in one, it’s important to know what to do in the moments after the accident. Of course, it’s natural to feel angry and upset after an accident. Remember to take a deep breath and follow these steps after an accident:

  1. Stay at the scene and check for injuries
  2. Call 911
  3. Seek medical attention
  4. Get the driver’s information, including their name, contact details, and insurance information
  5. Gather evidence at the scene
  6. Speak to witnesses and get their contact details
  7. Keep a record of what happened
  8. Contact an Atlanta personal injury lawyer

At Fry Goehring, our top-rated legal team is ready to guide you at every step after an accident. We will deal with the driver’s insurance company, allowing you to rest and recover.

Contact Fry Goehring’s Personal Injury Attorneys to Discuss Your Options

If you have been injured in a pedestrian or bicycle accident, contact Fry Goehring today by calling 404-969-1284 to discuss your case. Let us help you hold the negligent driver accountable for their actions. Fill out our online contact form now to get started.