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A High Percentage of Pedestrians Die at Night

Walking on a dark street creates a high level of risk, no matter where you are.  Many cities, including many areas of Savannah, have worked to incorporate strategies to improve safety for pedestrians. Yet, there is evidence that shows that pedestrians continue to be at a high risk of dying just by going for a walk on city streets when the sun is down.

It may seem obvious that walking at night is a risk, but that factor has not changed. What has changed is that the number of people dying as pedestrians in car accidents is actually increasing rather than decreasing, even as safety measures are put in place.

Data from the New York Times provides stark evidence of this reality. Its data found that, in 1980, the number of pedestrians dying began to drop, likely an indication of improving safety conditions. However, by 2010, these figures were reversing. There is no clear reason why, but more people are dying now than they were in the 1990s. What is most interesting is that nearly all of those deaths occur at night.

The study breaks down details about what is occurring. It finds a significant increase occurs when the sun goes down, whether at 6 pm or 8 pm, depending on the season.

Why do more pedestrians die while walking at night?

There are many reasons why this could be occurring. The most common is that pedestrians are much harder to see on the road at night since many streets lack significant illumination. Most people do not wear reflective clothing or lights on them while they are walking at night, which means that they are quite difficult to see.

Another factor that could contribute to this is that many American streets are designed to meet the needs of cars, not people. Their design does not specifically target pedestrian risk. Even more so, road engineers design cars for daytime use as a priority.

There are other factors as well. For example, there are more drivers distracted with smartphones now than there were in 1980. There are more tech features on displays that have a brighter light than a person walking along a dark street, distracting the eye.

Cars themselves could play a role in this, too. They are larger, longer, and heavier. That means that when a car driving down Broughton Street in Savannah does hit someone, they have more of an impact, and that tends to lead to more serious injuries and losses. These heavier vehicles are also harder to control and take longer to brake.

Some of the risks for pedestrians are harder to pinpoint

The study points to other factors that may also be contributing to these increased risks. For example, there are more people who live in lower-income communities who must commute to neighboring areas, and that often means walking to a bus stop or mass transit area. They are also required to walk along roads with numerous lanes of traffic that may lack crosswalks that are more readily in residential areas.

Many of the roadways between urban downtown areas and suburban regions are less pedestrian-friendly, even as multi-family homes begin to develop along them. Some of these roads, which now serve as walkways to get to the store or school, used to be the big “highways” when they were built. They were never meant to be roads where people would walk across them for long periods of time.

Who is liable when a pedestrian accident occurs in Savannah?

When a pedestrian accident happens, what matters most is getting medical care and starting on the road to recovery. For families who have lost a loved one due to a pedestrian accident, the ability to move forward is complex and often challenging. Determining who is at fault is often the first step.

Our Savannah pedestrian accident attorneys can help you. We work closely with our clients to determine what occurred and why. Though it may be factors such as poorly designed roadways that lack light that causes such accidents, the liability often falls on the driver who did not pay attention and struck the other person.

As a result of this, that driver is typically responsible for the losses that have occurred. At Harris Lowry Manton LLP, we help injured pedestrians in and around Savannah by building strong cases for compensation. This process involved:

  • Determining who is at fault. We gather all the evidence in the case to support our determination of fault. This allows us to make it clear to insurance companies that the driver was at fault for what occurred and, therefore, they owe you compensation for the incurred losses.
  • Assessing the true value of your losses. If your family member died as a result of a pedestrian accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim if you are the spouse, child, or parent of that person, or if none of these exist, you are the estate administrator. You may be able to recover losses related to final medical care, burial and funeral costs. In addition to that, you may also recover losses related to your emotional losses. In cases where you have sustained serious injury, you may be owed financial compensation for your medical bills, lost time at work, pain and suffering, along with emotional trauma.
  • Fighting back against insurance companies which refuse to play fair. We will calculate these losses for you and then work to pursue compensation for you aggressively against those responsible. If the insurance company refuses your losses, our highly skilled attorneys will pursue compensation through a lawsuit.

Harris Lowry Manton provides comprehensive legal support and aggressive representation to families suffering losses after such accidents. Our pedestrian accident attorneys in Savannah and Atlanta are readily available to discuss your case with you now. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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