As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage America and most of the rest of the world, Georgia has issued a “shelter in place” order to help prevent the spread of the virus. Thousands of non-essential businesses have been shut down temporarily, with countless workers being abruptly laid off or furloughed. Many of those who are still working are doing so from home rather than going into their office.
With most of us stuck at home, there are far fewer cars on the road. But at the same time, many people are going for walks in order to get fresh air and exercise. Walking is a great way to get out of the house and enjoy the warm weather while we wait for the effects of the coronavirus outbreak to subside. That said, the increased pedestrian traffic does heighten the risk of a vehicle (or vehicles) crashing into someone who is out walking.
In fact, just recently, multiple vehicles struck and killed a pedestrian who was attempting to cross Interstate 20 near the Moreland Avenue exit in Atlanta. At least four vehicles hit the man who was crossing, resulting in his death and possible injuries to motorists. The cause of the accident remains under investigation, but this tragic incident highlights the need for pedestrians and motorists to be mindful of the dangers out there and take the necessary steps to stay safe.
Tips for Avoiding Pedestrian Accidents during COVID-19 or Anytime
- Stay Visible: Do everything you can to make sure that drivers are able to see you. If you are out walking during the day, wear brightly colored clothing. If walking at night after dark, wear lightly colored or reflective clothing. As much as possible, try to walk in areas where there is plenty of lighting, and also try to make eye contact with vehicle drivers before you cross in front of them.
- Obey Traffic Laws: Understand and obey all of the traffic laws and rules in whatever area you are walking. For example, cross only at designated crosswalks and other places where it is legal, and do not try to cross when there is a red light and/or oncoming traffic.
- Be Alert: Most of us have smartphones, and it can be difficult to put them away even for a short while. But as a pedestrian, it is your responsibility to pay attention to potential hazards and avoid them. In order to best accomplish this, limit your smartphone use, especially when you are crossing the road in places where there is typically high vehicle traffic.
- Stay Sober: Alcohol plays a role in approximately 50% of all pedestrian accident cases. And although it is usually an impaired driver that causes the accident, about one-third of all alcohol-related pedestrian crashes involve a pedestrian who is intoxicated. Whether you are driving or walking, alcohol impairs your judgment. Stay safe by staying sober.
- Avoid Distractions: As we discussed earlier, it is very tempting to look at your smartphone while walking or driving. However, doing this can have deadly consequences. The best practice is to put your phone away while you drive. But if you must get in touch with someone, do so only by making a phone call with the phone in “hands-free” mode.
- Follow Traffic Laws: Many pedestrian crashes happen because of aggressive or reckless driving behaviors. Examples include excessive speeding, running stop signs and red lights, and failing to yield the right-of-way. As with pedestrians, motorists must be familiar with and obey all traffic laws in order to keep everyone safe.
- Stay Sober: In spite of several decades of high-profile public awareness campaigns, far too many motorists make the horrible and often fateful decision to drive after having too much to drink. Do not be one of them – it may be a decision you regret for the rest of your life.
- Be Mindful of Pedestrian Traffic: With more people out walking during the coronavirus pandemic, motorists need to watch out for pedestrian traffic not only in areas like downtown Atlanta where it tends to be heavy, but also in their own neighborhoods.
Injured in a Pedestrian Accident in Atlanta? Ross Moore Law is Here to Help
If you or someone close to suffered injury in a pedestrian crash, you may have a right to significant compensation. But do not put off speaking with an attorney simply because of the COVID-19 situation. At Ross Moore Law, we want you to know that we are still open and ready to serve your legal needs. In spite of the unprecedented challenges our nation is facing, we have the technology and resources to remain fully operational while following all of the social distancing guidelines to ensure their everyone stays safe.
To speak with a member of our legal team, message us online or call us today at (404) 905-3146. We look forward to serving you!