Sidewalks are needed for adults to walk to work or the store, and children need sidewalks to walk to school and the park. Sadly, many suburban streets lack sidewalks—the basic safety measure that helps minimizes pedestrian accidents in Georgia. When roads are not equipped with sidewalks, it may be unsafe for walking.
According to a study the UNC Highway Safety Research Center conducted for the Federal Highway Administration, there is an 88.2 percent lower chance of a pedestrian accident at a site with a paved sidewalk compared to a site without a sidewalk. Additionally, a sidewalk is one of the most effective measures in helping children walk to school safely.
Paved sidewalks are a critical piece in walking to school safely, as they provide the needed space that separates motor vehicles from pedestrians. When streets do not have sidewalks, especially those on routes where children walk to school, parents and school officials should notify traffic authorities of this safety concern.
Now that school is back in session, parents and children need to be reminded of a few things to keep school-age pedestrians safe this school year:
- Parents should drive or walk their children to school
- If parents cannot take their kids to school, they can pick out a safe route—one that has sidewalks—for their children to walk
- Parents should talk with their children about pedestrian safety and the rules of the road
- Parents should attend their city council meeting and vocalize their concerns regarding missing sidewalks
While sidewalks can help reduce Georgia pedestrian accidents due to the separation the curb provides from traffic, sidewalks won’t prevent every pedestrian accident and injury from occurring. Sadly, there are too many distracted drivers, aggressive drivers, speeders, and impaired drivers on our roads. With children being small in size and drivers being negligent or reckless, children often suffer pedestrian injuries and fatalities.
For this reason, motorists need to do a better job of:
- Looking out for pedestrians
- Yielding the right-of-way to pedestrians
- Driving the posted school zone speed limits
- Paying attention while driving
- Slowing down and giving pedestrians more room when there are no sidewalks
If you or your child has been injured in a Fayette County pedestrian accident, please call a skilled Peachtree City pedestrian accident attorney at (980) 246-2656 to find out about your legal rights in a free consultation today.