According to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Pedestrian Safety Action Plan there are over 100 Georgia pedestrian fatalities per year. GDOT estimated that 2012 pedestrian deaths would likely exceed those in 2011. Of the pedestrian fatalities, 91 percent occur in the roadway and 5 percent occur in marked crosswalks. An unexpected location of a substantial number of pedestrian accidents is in parking lots.
If you are injured a Clayton County pedestrian accident attorney at Shane Smith Law can review the incident and advise you of your legal rights.
According to GDOT, over half of all pedestrian accidents involve either an impaired driver or a distracted pedestrian. Researchers in a University of Washington study reported that nearly one-third of all pedestrians are distracted by some kind of mobile device while crossing a street. Texting is the most dangerous distraction but not the only one according to the study published in the journal Injury Prevention. Researchers noted "distracting" behaviors including talking on the phone, texting, listening to music on mobile devices, talking to other people who were walking, and dealing with children or pets.
Such distracting behaviors can lead to parking lot pedestrian accidents. Distracted pedestrians may be walking close to a vehicle as it prepares to back up and not notice or hear the car. Pedestrians may also cross a parking lot in an unexpected place.
Drivers are frequently the cause of parking lot pedestrian accidents. They may be focusing on something else such as finding an available parking space or on moving vehicles and not on pedestrians. Drivers also often turn into parking lots at unsafe speeds, thus causing pedestrian injuries.
Pedestrians can mitigate potential injuries by making eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of or behind their vehicles. By doing this the pedestrian can be sure that he is noticed by the driver. Pedestrians can minimize distracting behaviors like those identified in the University of Washington study. Finally, they can surrender the right-of-way to automobiles in parking lots just to be certain that an accident is avoided.
Victims should seek the assistance of a Clayton County pedestrian accident attorney to protect their rights by securing police reports, eyewitness testimony, and physical evidence and to deal with insurance representatives.
A Clayton County pedestrian accident attorney can help if you were a pedestrian and struck by a vehicle. Call Shane Smith Law at (980) 246-2656 for a free legal consultation.