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What the Law Says About Pedestrian Accidents in Georgia

What the Law Says About Pedestrian Accidents in Georgia

It was reported over this past weekend that two people were killed in two separate pedestrian accidents with cars. The first accident involved a 24 year old man who was struck and killed while crossing Fulton County Highway. Details on this incident are very preliminary as it appears that police are still investigating the incident. The second pedestrian accident occurred when a pedestrian was struck on South Fulton Parkway. The pedestrian, Latara Worthy, was apparently a school teacher and mother of a one year old. The driver of the vehicle that hit her fled the scene and police are trying to get a description of the vehicle that hit her.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that across the country nearly 50,000 pedestrians will be involved in incidents this year and over 4,000 people will lose their life as a result of a pedestrian accident. With so many people effected by these preventable accidents, it is worth keeping in mind Georgia's laws regarding pedestrians and motor vehicles.

The laws regarding pedestrians are contained in a variety of statutes, but the main statutes are O.C.G.A. sections 40-6-21, 40-6-91, 40-6-92, and 40-6-93. In evaluating the law regarding pedestrian accidents it is important to understand that both the pedestrian and the driver have a duty to follow the law. Following are a general list of duties regarding both a pedestrian and a driver. The most important thing to remember is to use your common sense. If walking at night, pedestrians should have a flashlight or wear reflective gear. Drivers need to be especially vigilant if an elderly person or child is in the area.

DRIVERS DUTIES

  • You must stop for a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk, when that pedestrian is anywhere on your side of the road (regardless of whether he or she is in your lane)
  • It is illegal for a driver to pass another vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk.
  • Before turning left or right on a green light, you must look and stop for pedestrians crossing on the adjacent roadway. The pedestrians have the right of way.
  • When turning left or right you must stay stopped until the pedestrian has finished crossing the side of the road onto which you are turning. Thus, you have to wait until they have reached the sidewalk or crossed into the other direction of travel (not just the other lane).
  • Regardless of whether a pedestrian is in a crosswalk or is in violation of any other laws, a driver has a duty to exercise due care to avoid any person on the roadway.
  • Drivers are expected to take proper precautions when encountering any child, elderly person, confused individual, or obviously intoxicated person in the roadway.

PEDESTRIAN DUTIES

  • A pedestrian should not dart out, or suddenly leave the curb area such that a driver does not have the time yield.
  • A pedestrian should use the sidewalk when available. If no sidewalk available a pedestrian shall walk facing traffic as far as practical on the shoulder of the roadway and outside of the fogline.
  • Pedestrians in a marked crosswalk have the right of way. If crossing the street at a place other than a crosswalk, the pedestrian must yield to vehicles unless they previously, under safe conditions, entered the roadway.

Utilizing our knowledge of pedestrian law in Georgia, we recently resolved a claim for a mother and daughter who were struck while crossing the street to attend an area high school football game. The insurance company for the driver initially denied the claim, but through good investigative work, we were able to find witnesses who supported our clients' version of events. Ultimately we were able to resolve both cases for $74,000.00. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a pedestrian accident, please do not hesitate to call our Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer, Todd Henningsen. We are available to help.

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