Atlanta is home to some of the most walkable neighborhoods in Georgia. Though, pedestrians can be familiar sights on just about any residential road, regardless of a city’s walkability score.
While walking can be a healthy, convenient and inexpensive way to get around, there are some risks to pedestrians, of which we should all be aware.
- Distracted drivers: Too many drivers operate their vehicles while they text, make a call, tend to a child or pet’s needs, groom or eat. Multi-tasking in these ways is unsafe and puts a motorist at a much higher risk of losing control of their vehicle and crashing. Distraction can also make it less likely that a driver will see pedestrians and have enough time to stop and let them cross the road.
- Large vehicles: Sales of pickup trucks have increased significantly in the last year. However, these vehicles – like commercial vehicles – are large and have numerous visibility issues in terms of blind spots. And reports tie the recent surge in truck purchases to an uptick in pedestrian fatalities.
- Poor road conditions and signage: The safety of pedestrians relies heavily on road conditions and signage. Things like marked crosswalks, traffic lights with countdown timers and curb extensions can all improve pedestrian safety, but they are not available everywhere.
- Reckless drivers: People who speed, drive aggressively and are generally more dangerous are far more likely to cause a crash than cautious drivers. Thus, these drivers are often behind the wheel in pedestrian accidents.
These factors can make everyone less safe on the road. And because pedestrians have virtually no protection in the event of a collision, they can be especially likely to suffer catastrophic and potentially fatal injuries.
To keep everyone safer on Atlanta streets, motorists and pedestrians alike should be aware of these factors.