The Georgia Department of Transportation has confirmed the death of a pedestrian earlier this morning in Dekalb County. This occurred at about 4:30 a.m. and is currently under investigation. I have handled many pedestrian death and injury cases in my practice as an Atlanta catastrophic injury lawyer and in each case various factors converge to cause these tragic situations.
In this matter, we do not know the state of mind of the pedestrian. Perhaps he was in shock after the initial accident and did not realize what he was doing in entering the Interstate as a pedestrian or perhaps he was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
We do know a few key facts. According to the early reports, after being involved in a crash on the westbound side of Interstate 285 in DeKalb County, the driver exited his vehicle and jumped over the median wall. Investigators believe that he hit another car and then came to a stop. After jumping the median wall, he entered the eastbound lanes of traffic on foot and was tragically hit by several vehicles. Authorities do not appear to intend to file any charges against the drivers that hit the man.
Pedestrian injuries and deaths are very prevalent across the country. The statistics are moving in the wrong direction.
According to a report last year in USA TODAY, in the first half of 2011 Americans saw a trend that increased pedestrian fatalities after several years in which traffic deaths were on the decline by about 8% overall.
There is some speculation that the increase in pedestrian deaths could be due to "talking and texting, or walking while intoxicated, and more exposure as people pursue active lifestyles that emphasize walk-able communities." A spokesperson for the Governors Highway Safety Association has noted that " '[j}ust as drivers need to focus on driving safety, pedestrians need to focus on walking safely.' "
An example of how pedestrians might be putting themselves at risk comes out of statistics in Oregon. There, pedestrian deaths climbed in early 2010 after they had declined to a six decade low. Sadly, alcohol and drugs were involved in over half the deaths in that state during that period of time. But at the same time, we can assume that distracted drivers also must have something to do with the uptick in pedestrian accidents.
Transportation for America has noted that many pedestrian deaths occur on roads that are high speed and that surround neighborhoods. These arterial roads can be very dangerous to pedestrians as speed is a significant factor in pedestrian accidents and deaths.
The Law Offices of P. Charles Scholle, P.C., has represented accident victims and their families for nearly two decades. We have built our reputation by representing our clients with care and compassion. Please contact us for a free consultation. We represent clients in the Atlanta metro area and throughout Georgia.