Recently in Pedestrian Accidents Category

Deadly Georgia Hit-and-Run Car Accident Claims Toddler's Life

April 8, 2014

The hunt continues for the driver of a white, late model pickup truck in Georgia. Officials say the motorist is responsible for callously striking two young children in DeKalb County Saturday afternoon as they waited on the sidewalk, near the entrance of a Tucker Walmart, to cross the street with their mother. Witnesses to the crime reported that they noticed the vehicle erratically making its way down the street just moments before the fatal accident.

One mall patron told local news channels in an interview that she very narrowly missed being hit by the motorist herself, only moments before the driver hopped over a curb, mowed down a two-year old toddler, Caleb, and his older sister, Meyaria, and sped off. Another witness reportedly told investigators that after the driver struck the children, he stopped briefly a few feet away to throw a beer bottle from the vehicle's cab. It's possibly an aggravating circumstance but, unfortunately, by the time he is caught, it will more than likely be too late to determine his blood alcohol content (BAC).

The two children were immediately transported to a local hospital. Their mother was not injured. Meyaria, 4, survived and is expected to recover, but 2-year-old Caleb tragically succumbed to his injuries. The local community is already vocalizing its grief and disbelief that someone could commit such a heinous act. The location where the pedestrian accident occurred has quickly become a shrine - with sympathizers leaving behind flowers, balloons and stuffed animals in memory of the deceased child.

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Anticipated Halloween Traffic A Cause for Concern for Both Trick-or-treaters and Motorists

October 31, 2013

Commuters this Halloween have already been forewarned to expect rush hour traffic to begin ghoulishly early on October 31st, with projections for congestion beginning as early at 1 pm. Experience itself suggests that no matter how early you leave work or how earnestly you plan beforehand, chances are you will be ensnared in some form or other of traffic congestion tonight as parents and children alike rush home to prepare for a rousing night of "trick or treats!"

Atlanta personal injury attorneys know all too well that when it comes to holidays, people tend to inadvertently throw caution to the wind. With rain in the forecast this time around, there may be cause for extra concern. There are also Halloween street closures to contend with. Drivers should be warily on the lookout for other frustrated citizens looking to make it home before nightfall using alternate and, accordingly, unfamiliar routes.

Furthermore, motorists should be especially mindful of the children who will take over the streets tonight. During the fall months darkness falls earlier so it will be even more difficult to see costumed little ones as they cross roadways, darting between houses...and cars. With an environment like that, some type of pedestrian accident seems almost inevitable.

Even if they've been cautioned against running into traffic, on this particular night children have one-track minds. That is because, for children, Halloween equals candy. For adults, on the other hand, Halloween fun often amounts to generous amounts of libations, which is especially dangerous on a night that calls for greater responsibility. Reflexes need to be exceptional under holiday conditions like these so it is paramount, more so than ever, that people operating vehicles don't drink and drive.

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Continued Trend towards Pedestrian Accidents Gives Cause for Concern

March 7, 2012

Pedestrian accidents in Georgia appear to be on the rise, and it's a very disturbing trend for those concerned about traffic safety - which is almost everyone. In 2006 the city of Atlanta, which includes Cobb, Fulton and DeKalb counties, had the highest pedestrian fatality rates - 16 died that year in each respective county. Three pedestrians were struck and killed in as many days in Cobb County just last month, and a fourth was left critically injured. Even more disturbing, is that in many of these cases motorists are purposefully failing to stop, and fleeing the accident scenes.

To Atlanta personal injury attorneys, uncooperative hit and run drivers are some of the most dangerous and negligent drivers, posing a definitive menace public safety. Conviction for a hit and run or for leaving the scene of an accident are also grounds for mandatory license suspension, says the Georgia Department for Driver Services (DDS). Fines, jail time and loss of one's vehicle are also possibilities, although courts will take into account factors such as cooperation with police, the nature of the accident, personal injuries and the extent of damage done.

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School Bus Safety Still an Issue as More Child Pedestrians are Injured

December 12, 2011

School bus stop laws provide directives for what a motorist may and may not do while in the vicinity of a bus stop being operated by a school bus providing school transport. For drivers, not only are the rules of the road fairly simple when it comes to school bus safety, but the primary regulations are almost uniform nation-wide:

•When meeting a stopped school bus with red signal lights flashing and stop arm extended, you MUST STOP.
•You MUST WAIT until the red lights have stopped flashing and the stop arm is withdrawn before moving.
•DO NOT MOVE until all the children have reached a place of safety.

Unfortunately, despite the clarity of rules like these, children are still injured or killed every day during pedestrian accidents involving impatient drivers who disregard the law. This phenomenon leads many car accident attorneys to question the effectiveness of current school bus stop laws.

Take, for instance, an incident that occurred in Douglasville, Georgia, this past week. A woman was arrested and charged with striking and killing a 17-year-old girl who stepped off of a school bus and into the path of her vehicle. Further investigation concluded that at the time of the accident, the school bus was stopped with its red lights activated and stop arm extended, indicating a direct violation of Georgia statutes.

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Incidents of Pedestrian Car Accidents Decreasing, but Pain Lingers

September 15, 2011

The year 2009 saw the loss of 4,092 lives and 59,000 injuries in pedestrian/motor vehicle related crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While nearly one pedestrian is injured every 9 minutes, these new statistics would still certainly suggest that occurrences of pedestrian accidents are heading towards a continuous downwards trend. It's a trend that can be attributed to many factors including fewer people choosing to walk, changes in behavior, or to improvements in the education of and awareness of drivers and law enforcement officials.

However, while that is a significant decrease from the 5,228 deaths reported in 1998, and an additional 69,000 injuries, reports that research and hospital records show that only a "fraction of pedestrian crashes that cause injuries are ever recorded by the police." My experience as a pedestrian accident lawyer in Atlanta bears these facts out; and more often than not, I find that while incidents are fewer and further in between, the pain associated with them still lingers.

Just this past month, for example, three Clayton County teens were struck and killed by a distracted driver on Highway 138, near I-675. The driver in that instance has been charged with DUI, hit-and-run and other charges after plowing into the group of boys as they walked east in the emergency lane. CBS Atlanta covered the tragic accident, providing updates as the teenagers died within several hours of each other. After finding out about the accident, one of the mother's immediately rushed to the scene. "I knew my son was involved because I saw his shoes and his hat laying on the ground. I knew because I bought them. How could any human being actually hit not one, not two, but three young teenagers and just leave?" she said.

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Awareness Campaign Uses Skeleton Signs to Slow Down Drivers

June 16, 2011

Sometimes it takes a graphic image to incite people to do, or deter them from doing something. We've seen the strategy used in campaigns from everything to stopping consumers from smoking to striking fear in the hearts of drunk drivers. Now, one New York company has teamed up with New York City's Department of Transportation to use a similar method in an awareness campaign to reduce speeding. Of course, speeding is one of the primary causes of car accidents and is a major contributing factor in the seriousness of injuries in a pedestrian accident.

If a driver is following the speed limit when approaching the new two-paneled electronic matrix sign, the traditional image of a pedestrian will appear in the top panel, along with the driver's rate of speed. If the radar detects the driver is exceeding the speed limit, the pixilated image of a skeleton will appear in the bottom panel, along with an emphatic warning to slow down. Personal injury lawyers see cases everyday in which these signals may have made a difference.

The campaign was primarily inspired by the following statistic: When a pedestrian is struck at 30mph by a vehicle, there is an 80% chance they will survive. If a pedestrian is struck at 40mph, there is a 70% chance they will die. 10mph, a seemingly subtle difference while you are behind the wheel, is the difference between life and death as a pedestrian.

According to the New York Times, the campaign will hit the city's streets sometime this summer. Atlanta car accident attorneys wonder whether this unique tactic designed to curtail speeders is one that will be adopted in Georgia. Novel ideas are certainly needed. Georgia's Department of Transportation says that from 2000 to 2006 in Georgia over six million people were involved in a motor vehicle crash either as a driver or passenger or pedestrian. A majority of those accidents involved people who failed to yield to pedestrians while turning, or were speeding, texting or talking on cell phones, or otherwise distracted. For now, it seems that only time will reveal whether New York's plan turns out to be a success, or just yet another distraction.

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