I am an Atlanta car accident lawyer, and today I will be blogging about
some serious problems we have in Atlanta with deaths of pedestrians in
During 2008, 18 of Atlanta’s 54 fatal car accidents involved pedestrians.
In those 18 accidents, 21 pedestrians were struck, and 20 of them died
as a result of being hit by a car.
Atlanta police listed three of the accidents as involving drunk drivers.
Surprisingly, the accidents did not seem to congregate in the warmer months
of the year. My assumption had been that more Atlanta pedestrians would
be hit and killed in the winter months because more people would be out
walking. In fact, however, the pedestrian deaths were distributed across
the months in this pattern:
January – 1 pedestrian car accident occurred here in Atlanta February
– 1 pedestrian hit and killed by a car
March – 2 cars hit and killed pedestrians in our city April –
2 car accidents in which pedestrians died May – 1 auto crash involving
death of a walker in Atlanta June – 1 auto incident in which a pedestrian
was tragically killed July – 1 car accident in which a pedestrian
died August – 0 pedestrians were killed in car accidents here in
Atlanta September – 2 auto accidents involving pedestrians October
– 2 pedestrians were hit by cars in separate incidents November
– 2 pedestrians died after being hit by cars in two separate accidents
December – 3 different pedestrian crashes occurred in the city limits
Ironically, the summer month of August is the only month in which Atlanta
had no pedestrian deaths at all.
Looking at these numbers, I was surprised to see that the truth about pedestrian
accidents – for Atlanta, that is – is the opposite of what
I was expecting. More pedestrians, not fewer pedestrians, were killed
in the winter months of 2008 than in the summer months that year. Seven
of Atlanta’s pedestrian wrecks occurred in the winter months of
November, December, January and February. The rate continued through the
“between” months of March, April, September and October, which
had virtually the same number of crashes that the winter months did; in
those fall and spring months, 8 pedestrians were hit and killed by car,
amounting to 2 per month. But the months with the fewest crashes involving
pedestrians were Atlanta’s warmest months: May, June, July and August.
Combined, those four months had only three car accidents in which pedestrians
were hit by cars and, as I mentioned earlier, August did not have any
pedestrian accidents whatsoever.
Perhaps one of the reasons that the deaths increased in winter months is
that drivers are were less likely to be expecting walkers and pedestrians
on their regular driving routes. Certainly we can see from these numbers
that Atlanta drivers need to be on the alert for pedestrians no matter
the time of year or the weather.
I am pulling these stats from the
Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) that is maintained and published by the National Highway and Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA). The database contains information about
all of the fatal accidents that occur throughout the nation in a given
year. The database has some weaknesses – for example, it can only
be searched one year at a time, and it does not include serious car wrecks
(that leave people with serious injuries, quadriplegic, paraplegic, with
head injuries, etc.) if no one actually died in those accidents. Still,
however, the database is quite remarkable and has a wealth of useful information in it.