Newspaper Ranks 10 ‘Worst Roads for Pedestrians’ in Atlanta

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A recent report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) highlighted the most dangerous roads in Metro Atlanta for pedestrian-car accidents, using data obtained from the Georgia Department of Transportation.

In Atlanta, 839 pedestrians were killed in traffic collisions from 2003 to 2012, according to a recent study by the National Complete Streets Coalition. The same study ranked Atlanta as the eighth most dangerous large metropolitan area for pedestrian safety.

According to the AJC, the 10 worst roads in Atlanta for pedestrians are:

Street  County            Crashes
Peachtree Street Fulton 178
Buford Highway DeKalb 154
Roswell Road Fulton 129
Peachtree Road Fulton 123
Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Fulton 104
Memorial Drive DeKalb 92
Covington Highway DeKalb 84
North Avenue Fulton 82
Tara Boulevard Clayton 81
Old National Highway Fulton 71


Pedestrian Accident Prevention Is Crucial

Atlanta roads are notoriously congested, which means that drivers and pedestrians alike must exercise extreme caution in order to be safe. Although pedestrians certainly have the right to cross the road, they can be guilty of behaviors that make them prone to accidents.

According to PEDS, an Atlanta-based nonprofit dedicated to improving pedestrian safety, many people are unwilling to walk several hundred yards to a crosswalk. Many pedestrians are also not patient enough to wait for more than 45 seconds before engaging in dangerous road behavior.

However, motorists are also to blame when it comes to impatience. Even though the overall number of pedestrian crashes has declined statewide in recent years, the number of people killed has increased. That suggests that while there are fewer crashes, they are also more violent.

Speeding is a common cause of some of the deadliest pedestrian accidents – yet it is entirely preventable. Data shows that 9 out of 10 pedestrians survive when struck by a car traveling 20 miles per hour. That number drops to 5 in 10 if the car is going 30 miles per hour. Only 1 out of 10 pedestrians is likely to survive a crash with a vehicle traveling at 40 miles per hour.

Safety Tips for Pedestrians and Drivers

There are many things that pedestrians can do to lessen the likelihood of an accident. Unfortunately, not all of Atlanta’s roads are well-equipped to handle foot traffic, so following these safety guidelines is imperative.

Pedestrians should:

  • Cross the street in designated crosswalks or intersections, where motorists would expect you to be.
  • Look in all directions before crossing the streets, particularly left and right. Many drivers neglect to yield the right of way to pedestrians when turning onto another street.
  • Always walk on the sidewalk. If that is not possible, walk facing traffic.
  • Avoid using electronic devices such as cell phones and music players while walking.
  • Increase your visibility at night by carrying flashlights or wearing light colored or reflective clothing.
  • Always check for cars that are backing up or coming out of driveways, where you may be in a driver’s blind spot.

Drivers should:

  • Look in every direction for pedestrians before driving.
  • Be especially cautious in bad weather or other low-visibility conditions.
  • Slow down and be ready to stop at crosswalks.
  • Stop far enough back at a crosswalk to make sure that other drivers can see a pedestrian and stop, too.
  • Never pass a stopped vehicle at a crosswalk. They may see a pedestrian that you can’t.
  • Don’t drink and drive.
  • Obey the speed limit, especially in school zones and in neighborhoods.
  • Be careful when the car is backing up.

Hopefully, by following these tips, pedestrians and drivers alike can avoid getting involved in potentially tragic pedestrian accidents – no matter which road you are on.

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