Walking is not only great for the environment; it’s also great for your health. Even so, it is important to keep pedestrian safety in mind. Statistics show that pedestrians are 32 times more likely to be killed in motor vehicle accidents than are car occupants, and pedestrian fatalities in the State of Georgia are unfortunately on the rise. In 2012, Georgia had the ninth highest pedestrian fatality rating in the nation, and car-centric regions of the state, like Atlanta, had even higher numbers of fatalities than the average.

If you were injured in an auto accident as a pedestrian, it’s a good idea to consult with a personal injury attorney. Before that happens, keep yourself and your loved ones safe by understanding pedestrian traffic laws and incorporating smart safety tips.

Pedestrian Safety and Georgia Law

The law requires all pedestrians to follow the rules for safe pedestrian travel. These include obeying the instructions of all walk signals and signs and yielding the right of way to vehicles outside of marked crosswalks. Additionally, pedestrians must utilize the sidewalk if one is provided and refrain from walking in the adjacent roadway. Pedestrians may not suddenly cross in front of oncoming traffic if it is impractical for vehicles to stop or yield. However, all vehicles are required to stop and remain stationary to allow pedestrians to cross inside designated crosswalks. A personal injury attorney can answer any questions you may have about these laws.

Pedestrian Safety Tips

In addition to following the rules of the road, there are several other actions you can take to keep yourself safe. For example, always look both ways before crossing the street, even in a designated crosswalk, to ensure that oncoming traffic has come to a complete stop. Wear bright clothing when walking near roadways so that you are easily identifiable to drivers. Keep an eye out for cars entering the roadway either from driveways or side streets. Finally, always keep a close eye on children, and never allow them to play in the street.

It is always best to proactively prevent injury when possible, but if an accident occurs, an experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help.