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In Atlanta, walking can be bad for your health!

Walking is an excellent way to lose weight, control your blood pressure, decrease your risk of a heart attack and stroke, raise your good cholesterol, avoid gallstone surgery and protect against hip fractures. But, if you live in Atlanta, these benefits don’t matter. In Atlanta, walking can be deadly.
 
According to the NHSTA’s traffic Safety Facts thirteen people die each day in pedestrian-motor vehicle crashes. A recent report, Death by Design sponsored by the organization Transportation for America, found that since 2000, over 43,000 pedestrians have died while walking on American streets. According to the report the number of fatalities is the same as it would be if a jumbo passenger jet went down every month.  
 
The report also ranks the ten most dangerous metropolitan areas for pedestrians. Atlanta is number ten.  
 
While this is a significant improvement over Atlanta’s number two position in 2000. However, many areas of Atlanta still lack adequate sidewalks, crosswalks and other safety features.
 
Atlanta had 1.37 pedestrian deaths for every 100,000 residents. In Atlanta, only 1.3% of the population walks to work. 
 
Other cities in the top ten include Orlando, Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville, Florida; Memphis, Tennessee; Raleigh, North Carolina; Louisville, Kentucky; Houston, Texas; and Birmingham, Alabama. All Southern cities! The rankings were based on reports from all 360 metropolitan areas in the United States.
 
More than 40% of the deaths occurred in areas with no crosswalks. Only ten percent of the deaths occurred while a pedestrian was in the crosswalk. Sixty percent of pedestrian fatalities occurred on roads where the speed limit is 40 mph or more.
 
Six Flags Drive in Atlanta is one such road.  According to a CBS Atlanta report, this street has a number of apartment complexes that house residents who do not drive. These residents walk to the nearest bus stop, which often involves crossing the four-lane highway. Crosswalks are few and far apart. One side of the street does not even have a sidewalk.
 
When a pedestrian is hit by a car, the pedestrian has little chance of remaining unharmed. If a car is moving at 30 mph or more, serious injury is likely and there is a high risk of death. 
 
If you have been injured while walking, or someone you love was run over and killed by a motor vehicle, contact the Law Offices of Shane Smith. We can help you deal with the insurance companies and get the settlement that you deserve. Call 1-770-HURT for a free evaluation of your pedestrian accident case.
 
Congress is currently considering The Surface Transportation Act, a bill that will give guidelines for $450 billion in transportation spending. Advocates for pedestrian safety are hoping a portion will be used to make streets safer for pedestrians without effecting traffic flow.

Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia