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The Big Tease

THE BIG TEASE

The temperatures hover in the delightful range of the 60s-70s. Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and people are hitting the trails to bike, run and walk, and …but wait: itsn’t it February? The recent above-normal temperatures are teasing us (and the birds and flowers) into thinking spring is around the corner. Part of the Big Tease is an increase in people engaging in outdoor sports such as running and walking earlier in the year than they normally would do so. But even though the temperature might mimc spring time, the daylight will not. That means that a lot of people will be exercising in the dark, which is statistically more dangerous. Below are a few important facts about pedestrians/runners and their accidents with motor vehicles, followed by safety tips to help prevent these tragic accidents.

THE NUMBERS

In 2012, there were 4,743 pedestrian fatalities, the highest number in 5 years. (The term “pedestrian” is defined to include walker, runner, jogger, hiker, and anyone sitting down or lying down on the road.) There were 76,000 pedestrian injuries. Pedestrian deaths accounted for 14% of all traffic fatalities and 3% of all people injured in traffic crashes. Pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 of population in the U.S. was 1.51.

Georgia had a total of 1,192 traffic fatalities in 2012, with 167 pedestrian fatalities that year. That means that pedestrian deaths were the same percentage—14%—in the state as in the country as a whole. The rate of pedestrian deaths per 100,000 people in Georgia at 1.68 was only slightly higher than the rate in the U.S.

Where, when and how do these fatalities and injuries occur? 73% of the pedestrian fatalities occurred in urban settings, and 70% occurred at non-intersections. A full 70% of fatalities occurred at night, with 32% happening between the hours of 8:00pm-11:59pm.

According to the National Transportation and Safety Administration, the failure to yield the right of way is the biggest cause of pedestrian deaths. The second biggest cause is poor visibility; as the statistics above show, many fatalities and injuries happen at night.

BE SENSIBLE: BE SEEN

If you must walk or run at night, wear reflective gear. A reflective vest or jacket is recommended. Wearing a head lamp or carrying a flash light is also a good idea.

If you must run or walk on the road, do so against traffic. Choose a route that is well light. Run or walk with a friend; the more of you there are, the more of you there is to see. Leave the earbuds at home when out at night; you need to hear the sounds of the road. And carry identification just in case.

CONTACT YOUR ATTORNEY

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in an accident with a motor vehicle while walking or running, contact Dave Thomas at The Thomas Law Firm for a free consultation. The Thomas Law Firm can help recover costs for medical care, rehabilitation, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call to find out about your legal rights.

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Thomas Law Firm
Located at 945 East Paces Ferry Road, Resurgens Plaza, GA 30326.

Phone: (678) 264-8348.
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