Safety Tips for Atlanta Pedestrians of All Ages
Across the nation, an estimated 6,000 pedestrians are killed every year. In March 2018, the Governors Highway Safety Association listed Georgia as 16th in the nation for pedestrian deaths. Between January and June 2017, there were 92 pedestrian deaths in Georgia. A few of these deaths have become “high profile” in the Metro Atlanta area, including the death of a crossing guard.
With such a high ranking, Georgia safety officials have been working to improve pedestrian safety and reduce the number of deaths. Of course, there are also things that pedestrians can do to help keep themselves safe on Georgia roadways. Here are some safety tips for Atlanta pedestrians of all ages.
Safety Tips for Atlanta Pedestrians of All Ages
In the Metro Atlanta area, walking or bicycling is incredibly common. There are numerous walking or bicycling trails around the area, and the downtown Atlanta area is a haven for sidewalk pedestrians. Whether you are walking to work, taking your child to meet the school bus, or are bicycling around one of Atlanta’s trails, here are some safety tips to keep you safe as a pedestrian.
Be Smart and Alert
- Always walk on the sidewalk if possible. If no sidewalk is available, walk facing traffic, rather than with the flow of traffic.
- Avoid walking on busy roadways, and pay attention to roadways that may prohibit pedestrians.
- Only walk near the roadway while sober. Walking while intoxicated can increase your chances of being struck by a vehicle or suffering other accidents.
- Never assume that drivers see you or will stop as they should. Try to make eye contact with drivers before crossing the road.
- Never rely only on pedestrian traffic signals. Always be alert and look before you cross.
- Be alert to noise or lights that could indicate vehicles moving, or preparing to move, nearby.
Be Visible and Seen
- When walking or bicycling, wear clothing that is bright colored or reflective.
- When walking at night, carry a flashlight and wear reflective materials.
- At night, be sure to cross the road in areas that are marked and well lit.
- When attempting to cross the road, stay away from barriers like hedges, buses, obstacles, or vehicles that could make it difficult for drivers to see you approaching the roadway.
Look Before you Cross
- Only cross the road at marked intersections or crosswalks whenever possible. If there is no crosswalk or signal present, use extra caution and look thoroughly before crossing.
- Always obey traffic signals indicating “WALK” or “DON’T WALK”, and never try to “beat” countdown signals.
- Before crossing, look both ways, but also look for vehicles that may be turning or merging into lanes that are closer.
- When walking, don’t wear headphones or use your cell phone. These could prevent you from being alert or hearing danger approaching.
Pedestrian Safety for Kids
Young people are particularly vulnerable to pedestrian accidents. For one reason, they are often smaller and less visible. For another reason, they often lack the skill and attention to practice good safety behaviors.
- Help your kids stay safe by teaching them sound and legal pedestrian safety behaviors. Safe Kids Worldwide offers the following safety tips:
- Teach kids to look “left, right, and left again” before crossing any street.
- Urge kids to continue looking around as they cross to ensure safety.
- Teach kids to not use cell phones, headphones, or mobile devices while walking or crossing the street.
- Teach kids and teenagers about traffic safety laws, traffic signals, and how to navigate sidewalks and crosswalks.
- Kids under 10 years old should never walk without adult supervision.
- Kids or teenagers with developmental challenges should never walk or cross the road without adult supervision.
- Set an example for the kids in your life by avoiding distractions and practicing safe pedestrian behaviors.
- Schools can easily download and print signs and infographics that describe pedestrian safety and how kids can stay safe in school zones.
In addition to keeping your kids safe while walking near a roadway or going to school, it is also important to teach your kids how to stay safe while playing outside, even in your yard or driveway, or on your street. Consider these additional safety tips for closer to home:
- Before anyone in your family gets behind the wheel, make a full walk around the vehicle to ensure that no one is playing or hiding nearby.
- Teach kids not to play in or around vehicles, even if they are parked.
- When there are cars approaching, entering, or exiting a driveway, talk to your kids about a designated spot they can stop and wait at to keep them safe.
- When kids are entering or exiting a vehicle, make sure they have adult supervision. This is especially important in parking lots or in areas where they are not familiar with the flow of traffic.
In the United States, accidental pedestrian injuries are considered the fifth leading cause of injury-related deaths among children between five and 19 years old. Teenagers are now considered at the greatest risk, largely because of the various distractions and the increased likelihood they will use a mobile device while walking or bicycling.
Have You Been Injured in a Pedestrian Accident?
If you or one of your family members have been injured in a pedestrian accident, contact our Atlanta personal injury attorneys today to learn more about protecting your legal rights. If your injuries were caused by the negligence or recklessness of someone else, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them, which can be helpful in covering medical expenses and other costs.
To find out more, contact The Dixon Firm to schedule a free consultation.