Recent Fatalities Bring New Focus on Pedestrian Safety in Marietta, GA

Posted: 01.24.22

CATEGORY: In our Community

Officials, residents, and activists are putting a new emphasis on pedestrian safety in Marietta after a string of deadly accidents.

In September 2021, a 46-year-old man was struck and killed trying to cross Powder Springs Street in Marietta. Barely a month later, a 70-year-old Marietta pedestrian was killed near Trade Center Parkway. In early November, another victim lost his life on Cobb Parkway by a hit-and-run driver.

As tragic as these recent events are, pedestrian accidents in the Georgia and the Atlanta regions are not uncommon; in fact, they have historically resulted in higher than average pedestrian accidents involving serious injury and death.

Pedestrian Accidents in Marietta

According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, 60% of all 2019 pedestrian crashes happened in the Atlanta region, which is the latest available data. Over 1,900 pedestrians were injured or killed in the ten Atlanta metro counties, including Cobb County.

Despite reduced traffic on roadways in 2020, there were 253 fatal pedestrian accidents. Georgia has the unfortunate distinction of ranking fourth nationwide in pedestrian fatalities.

Marietta’s Deadliest Places for Pedestrians

Two of the most recent pedestrian fatalities occurred on Cobb Parkway. The third took place on Powder Springs Street, where a stretch between Cunningham Road and Baltimore Place is the scene of hundreds of wrecks every year.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, one of the deadliest sites in Marietta is a nearly four-and-a-half-mile span on South Cobb Drive, with seven traffic fatalities during three years.

Overall, the most dangerous places for pedestrians are:

  • Non-intersection locations
  • Urban areas
  • Locations without crosswalks
  • Areas with poor lighting or reduced visibility

Most fatal pedestrian accidents happen at night.

Common Causes of Pedestrian Accidents

The Georgia Governor’s Office for Highway Safety identified the most common causes of pedestrian accidents.

  • Motorist failure to yield the right-of-way
  • Distracted driver
  • Speeding
  • Aggressive or reckless driving
  • Impaired driver (drugs, alcohol, or fatigue)

Pedestrian Safety Tips

Georgia law requires drivers to stop and remain stopped for pedestrians in crosswalks on the driver’s side or within one lane of the driver’s side of the road. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration cautions pedestrians not to rely on drivers obeying the rules of the road.

Here are 10 walking safety tips to help reduce pedestrian accidents in Marietta.

  1. Always use sidewalks when available.
  2. If sidewalks aren’t available, walk facing traffic and as far from cars as possible.
  3. Use crosswalks and intersections to cross the street – many have traffic signals with “wait” or “walk” signs.
  4. Always look for cars in all directions, regardless of whether you have the “walk” sign.
  5. If there isn’t a crosswalk or intersection, cross the street where you have an unobstructed view of both lanes of traffic.
  6. Keep alert and avoid walking with headphones or earbuds.
  7. Wear bright colors during the day and carry a flashlight at night – most cell phones have flashlights.
  8. Be extra cautious near parking lots, driveways, or private roads.
  9. Avoid drinking or using drugs while walking since it impairs judgment and vision.

Focus on Safety in Atlanta Region

Pedestrians Educating Drivers on Safety (PEDS) is a Georgia Department of Transportation division dedicated to reducing non-motorist injuries and fatalities. The recent uptick in pedestrian crashes has motivated PEDS, the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, and other partners to encourage policy changes in the Atlanta region.

Among their safety recommendations:

  • Expand 25 miles per hour speed limits to 90% of Atlanta streets, reduce speed limits on state routes, and implement speed cameras near schools.
  • Ask city officials to set aside 2.5% of the general budget fund for critical infrastructure improvements, including those that impact walkers.
  • Increase education and awareness for safe, sustainable transportation.

In addition to local initiatives, the Federal Highway Administration Office of Safety allocates extra resources to cities with high pedestrian fatality rates.

Why Legal Representation Matters for Pedestrian Accidents

When you face life-changing injuries, your focus is understandably on getting through each day as best you can.

However, you have rights under Georgia law when someone’s negligence injures you or causes the death of a family member. You could be entitled to compensation, including:

In most pedestrian accidents, an attorney can recover compensation for you without the need to go to trial. Should insurance negotiations fail, you only have a short time to decide if you want to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Talk to a local lawyer as soon as possible to protect your legal rights.

Call The Champion Firm for a Free Consultation

Our firm has won over $100 Million in damages for clients injured in pedestrian accidents and other personal injury incidents. We are a client-focused law firm dedicated to protecting victims in Marietta and Georgia.

Help starts here when you call 404-596-8044 or reach out online to schedule a free, no-risk consultation. You pay nothing unless we recover compensation for you.