During the “vacation months” of July through October, the temperature rises, and so do traffic fatalities. In the midst of Fourth of July activities and in the days surrounding this summer holiday, traffic fatalities climb to a yearly high. This is why the Pedestrian Safety Institute (PSI) and flashlight brand MAGLITE are teaming up in 2020 to promote this reality through National Roadside Traffic Safety Awareness Month.
As an Atlanta personal injury law firm, Lamar Law Office, LLC wishes to do our part by spreading awareness about roadside safety in our city and state.
In the past decade, the number of pedestrians killed by motor vehicles in the United States spiked by 35 percent. Georgia is the sixth most dangerous state in the nation to be a walker, according to this Dangerous by Design report.
Atlanta’s Top 10 Most Dangerous Roads for Pedestrians
1. Peachtree Street
2. Buford Highway
3. Roswell Road Fulton
4. Peachtree Road
5. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.
6. Memorial Drive
7. Covington Highway
8. North Avenue
9. Tara Boulevard
10. Old National Highway
Drivers and pedestrians would be wise to exercise extreme caution when traveling the following roads. In honor of National Roadside Traffic Safety Awareness Month, Lamar Law Office has collated some “best practices” for you to follow to avoid a tragic accident in the midst of summer.
Best Practices for Pedestrian Safety This Summer
Exercise extra vigilance at night
The night hours between 6 PM and 6 AM are the most deadly, with more than 50 percent of all crashes occurring within this timeframe. The fatality rate for crashes during dawn, dusk and night is double the daytime rate. Statistically, crashes that occur after midnight are four times more deadly.
Given these grim statistics, drivers should keep watch for pedestrians on the shoulder, and put distractions away. Pedestrians would be wise to invest in reflective clothing or a flashlight to draw attention to themselves when walking roadside at night.
Don’t step out of your broken down vehicle on a highway
Many roadside accidents happen on the highway shoulder when the driver of a broken down car steps outside of their vehicle. Unless otherwise necessary, drivers should stay inside their vehicles, pull as far away from the flow of traffic as possible, and call for help.
Especially at night, warning signs such as hazard lights or other light sources should be used to warn oncoming traffic of your stopped vehicle.
Finally, if it is absolutely necessary for you to exit your vehicle on a highway, you should stand as far away from the way of traffic as possible. Place your vehicle between yourself and the flow of traffic.
Avoid walking on busy roads. If you must, follow these strategies for safety
The best preventative strategy for accidents on busy roads is to avoid walking there altogether. Take the time to map out alternate walking routes.
If you must walk on a busy road, use the sidewalk or path. If there isn’t one, walk on the shoulder, facing traffic, as far away from the flow of traffic as you can get. Don’t assume the driver sees you, and try to make eye contact.
If walking at night, it is crucial to make use of safety devices like a traffic/safety wand, flashlight, and/or reflective clothing.
Whether traveling by foot or car, you should have a dependable flashlight, traffic/safety wand, flares, or reflective triangles to mark your location. Frequently test your car’s hazard light function.
As the MAGLITE brand says, “To be safe, be seen.” These tools and devices should be used even during the day to give drivers advanced warning of a problem ahead, and plenty of time to slow down or move lanes.
Exercise good judgment regarding alcohol
Drivers and pedestrians alike should avoid traveling on roads and highways while under the influence of alcohol. During major summer holidays including Labor Day, Fourth of July, and Memorial Day, the percentage of fatal accidents involving alcohol nears 40 percent.
Opting to stay the night at a friend or relative’s home could mean the difference between life and death for you or someone else.
Spread the word about National Roadside Traffic Safety Awareness Month
Summer is a time to reunite with friends and relatives. Whether you’re on vacation or on a night out, think ahead about your transportation. Plan walking routes with care, and always ensure you have a designated driver.
Share this article and the above list of our city’s most dangerous roads with your Atlanta friends and relatives. Consider giving your loved one a safety device such as a traffic wand for their car. If you know someone who frequently walks or bicycles around our city, share this list with them, too.
Lamar Law Office, LLC wishes you a safe and relaxing summer.