Getting out and walking is a great way to hit your step goals and to enjoy the beauty of Gwinnett County. When you head out on foot, you do yourself and the environment a favor, but it’s important to remember that pedestrians are in greater danger of being injured in traffic accidents. When you’re walking, after all, absolutely nothing comes between you and the impact of an accident. Whenever you’re hoofing it—whether that means walking to work, taking a stroll, or walking from the parking structure to your destination—make safety your top priority.
Drivers’ Duty of Care
Georgia drivers owe pedestrians—and everyone else on the road—a duty of care. This duty involves driving with reasonable care that includes following the rules of the road and several other mandates:
- Not driving while impaired or distracted (smartphone usage is the number one distraction)
- Yielding the right of way to pedestrians in crosswalks
- Obeying all traffic signage
- Adjusting driving to accommodate for poor driving conditions, including the low visibility of night driving and poor road conditions caused by inclement weather
If a driver has left you injured in a pedestrian accident, you need an experienced personal injury attorney. Pedestrian accidents are some of the most dangerous accidents out there, and your rights and your rightful compensation are far too important to leave to chance. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Brauns Law, PC, in Gwinnett County, Georgia, will work to guide your claim toward just compensation. Our dedicated personal injury legal team is here to help.
Georgia has specific laws on the books related to pedestrian safety, and these laws allow pedestrians important safety mechanisms. First and foremost, Georgia drivers must stop and stay stopped for pedestrians who are crossing in marked crosswalks. This language is quite firm and indicates that a complete stop is necessary. Georgia drivers also have several additional responsibilities related to pedestrian safety:
- A driver may not drive around, squeeze by, or cut off a pedestrian in a crosswalk—even if the driver has room to do so. Stop and stay stopped means just that—the driver must stay stopped until the pedestrian passes safely through the crosswalk.
- When a driver is stopped for pedestrians at a crosswalk, no other driver who’s approaching from behind may overtake or pass that stopped driver.
Staying Safe out There
Georgia also has laws on the books for pedestrians that are intended to help keep you safer when you’re on foot:
- When you cross the street anywhere other than at a crosswalk, yield the right of way to traffic on the road (unless you entered the road when it was safe to do so).
- If a pedestrian overhead crossing or tunnel is available, use it—or yield the right of way to traffic (if you choose not to use the designated pedestrian passageway). Remember, you’re always safer on a designated walkway.
- Never leave a curb or other place of safety to walk or run into the path of a vehicle that can’t reasonably yield.
There are several other precautions that can help keep you safer when you take to the streets of Gwinnett County on foot:
- Don’t walk distracted—stay alert to the traffic around you.
- Follow all posted safety signs and signals.
- Whenever possible, use a marked crosswalk or designated pedestrian walkway to cross the street.
- Never enter traffic inappropriately.
- Plan your walking route ahead of time, and avoid as many busy intersections as you can.
- If you must walk at night, wear a visible piece of reflective clothing.
When you’re on foot, you are extremely vulnerable to injury in an accident. Always put safety first and pay attention to what’s going on all around you.
Pedestrian Accidents Happen
The nature of pedestrian accidents makes them especially dangerous. The Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center reports several significant statistics related to pedestrian accidents:
- In the ten years from 2006 to 2015, pedestrian injuries rose by nearly 15 percent and pedestrian fatalities rose by 12 percent—even as total traffic fatalities fell by 18 percent.
- The year 2015 saw the highest number of U.S. pedestrian-accident fatalities since 1996.
Pedestrian accidents happen, and they are often exceedingly dangerous accidents.
The Insurance Company
If a motorist leaves you injured in a pedestrian accident, it’s likely that you’ll be hearing from that motorist’s insurance company. Before you deal with an insurance company, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Insurance companies are in the business of making money. While they are held to federal and industry standards, they’re also motivated by profits and are often willing to do whatever they can get away with in terms of maximizing those profits.
It is in your best interest to avoid giving a statement to the insurance representative, and you’re not required to do so. Your experienced personal injury attorney will provide the insurance company with everything it needs. Your energy should be focused on regaining your health.
Your Pedestrian Accident Claim
If you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident, it’s critical to your ongoing recovery that your claim represents the full extent of your damages. The injuries associated with pedestrian accidents are often extremely serious. Such injuries often lead to overarching physical limitations that have long-lasting consequences, including lost wages and even a diminished career potential. Further, the emotional trauma associated with pedestrian accidents can exact an extensive psychological toll. All told, a pedestrian accident can leave you with nearly insurmountable physical, financial, and emotional damages that are difficult to overestimate. Your dedicated personal injury attorney will help ensure that your claim adequately reflects the full scope of your losses.
If You Were Injured in a Pedestrian Accident, Contact Brauns Law, PC, in Gwinnett County Today
If a driver has left you injured in a pedestrian accident, the dedicated legal team at Brauns Law, PC, in Gwinnett County, Georgia, is here to help. Our skilled personal injury lawyers have the experience, determination, and compassion to help guide your claim toward just compensation, so please contact or call us at (404) 418-8244 for a free consultation today.