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Atlanta Suburbs Streets Not Safe For Pedestrians

The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the regional planning and intergovernmental coordination agency for the 10-county area including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties, as well as the City of Atlanta. For over 65 years, ARC and its predecessor agencies have helped to focus the region’s leadership, attention and resources on key issues of regional consequence.

ARC is dedicated to unifying the region’s collective resources to prepare the metropolitan area for a prosperous future. It does so through professional planning initiatives, the provision of objective information and the involvement of the community in collaborative partnerships.

The Atlanta Regional Commission is designated as a Metropolitan Area Planning and Development Commission as well as a Regional Commission under the laws of the State of Georgia. As such, ARC operates under rules promulgated by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

A recent study by the Atlanta Regional Commission concluded that almost half of Atlanta car accidents involving pedestrians occur within 300 feet of a bus stop. This is alarming and needs to be addressed by traffic planners in the City.

One reason for the high rate of pedestrian accidents in Atlanta suburbs such as Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Lithonia and Marietta–suburban roads were not designed and built to ensure pedestrian safety. As an Atlanta injury lawyer, I have seen many incidents of MARTA riders being hit after exiting the MARTA bus and trying to cross the street. This happens even when the pedestrian uses a crosswalk. It also happens in and around MARTA parking lots and transfer stations.This concerns me a great deal and I call on the Commission to not only point out the problem, but also to identify and implement a solution.

Common ways that pedestrians are struck and injured by negligent drivers on Atlanta roads include:

  • Failure to yield to a pedestrian
  • Failing to obey the posted speed limit
  • Distractions such as cell phone and texting, eating, putting on makeup, and listening to music
  • Drunk Driving
  • Car equipment failure (brakes, tires, stuck accelerators, worn out windshield wipers, broken headlights, etc.)
  • Poorly maintained roads

Like all other personal injury claims, pedestrian injury claims require evidence in order to prove your case in court. If a car hits and injures you, you should make sure to get the motorist’s name and contact information. You also need his insurance company’s contact information. If your injuries are too serious for you to get the information, ask a friend or one of the police officers to get it for you. Of course, make every attempt to find out which police jurisdiction is handling the case so that your attorney can quickly get a copy of the police report once it is available.

Contact the motorist’s insurance company, report the accident, and file your claim. Contact your insurance company to report the accident, as well.

The next step is proving the motorist’s actions were negligent and therefore caused the accident resulting in your injuries. Without proof, your claim will fail. Right after a pedestrian accident, you need to start asking the following questions:

  • Did the motorist breach (violate) his duty of care (obligation) to me?
  • Were the motorist’s actions the direct and proximate cause of my injuries? This is a legal standard and has been covered in other blogs on this site. However, suffice to say that it is an essential element of your case.
  • Was the other driver negligent?
  • Were there intervening forces, and if so, do they rise to the level of relieving the at fault driver or responsibility of the accident?

Source: April Hunt”Suburbs, pedestrians deadly mix.” Atlanta Journal Constitution, December 21, 2010.

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