The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that there were over 5,000 pedestrian deaths in 2015.

Children and older adults are the two population groups most likely to be a victim of a pedestrian injury, but people of all ages can be struck by a vehicle.

With Savannah, Georgia attracting millions of visitors yearly and being home to SCAD University, our downtown streets can be congested with tourists, open trolley cars, buses, sightseeing transport buses, taxis, Ubers, bicycles, scooters and the like.

The personal injury law firm of Friedman and Martin has handled vast numbers of cases during their combined 60 years of legal practice in Savannah.

The most common causes of pedestrian accidents include:

•  A failure by drivers to check for pedestrians in crosswalks prior to driving through them

•  Drivers failing to stop at stop signs or lights

•  Texting and other dangerous driver distractions

•  Drivers choosing to make turns without paying attention to their surroundings

•  Speeding

•  Driving under the influence

Georgia law places responsibility on both the pedestrian and the driver to avoid a collision.

Our state’s codes require that every driver of a vehicle must exercise care to avoid hitting any pedestrian on the road, and must give warning to the pedestrian by blowing his horn when necessary and shall exercise proper precaution when seeing and child or other person who is confused, incapacitated or intoxicated. OCGA 40-6-93. In fact, there is an interesting case in Georgia, Fountain V. Thompson, 252 Ga.256 (1984), which states that if a person is lying in the open on a flat road, a driver is under a duty to see the person lying in the road and avoid injury to the person.

In Georgia, if a sidewalk is provided, the law says you should walk or run on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk provided, then you should walk or run on the shoulder of the road, as far away from the edge of the road as possible, without causing harm to yourself. And if there is no sidewalk, and no shoulder, the person should walk or run as near as practical on the outside edge of the roadway, and if this is on a two lane road, you should walk or run against traffic. Georgia law also requires that any person who is on a roadway, shall yield the right of way to all cars on the road. OCGA 40-6-96.

It is also the best practice of a pedestrian to cross a street within a crosswalk, if one is available. If you are in a crosswalk, Georgia law requires that a car approaching must stop for you in the crosswalk. OCGA 40-6-91(a). Of course, you are not allowed to just walk out into a crosswalk if you see a car coming, and expect the car to stop. In this situation, the pedestrian will likely come out the loser in a collision between the two. Georgia law also provides that if a pedestrian is crossing a road at a point other than a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk, the pedestrian must yield to oncoming cars UNLESS he has already and under safe conditions, entered the roadway. OCGA 40-6-92.

Additionally, if you are crossing a street where there is a pedestrian control device that tells you when to stop or cross the street, usually a white or red person in the control box, you should always abide by the control device. If you are hit by a car, but you were crossing when the red no crossing sign was lit, then you would not likely have personal injury case against the driver who hit you.

Pedestrians hit by a moving vehicle are likely injured badly. You will need to hire an attorney immediately who can evaluate the scene of the wreck, injuries, medical care, medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering to determine what your case is worth. If you have been injured as a pedestrian, get someone to gather physical evidence at the scene on your accident should it later disappear. If you are able, after your injury, take photos at the scene right after you were hit. Take a photograph of the vehicle that hit you, and any skid marks on the road or vehicle debris on the road. This type of evidence may become the key evidence in your case. Call Friedman & Martin and we will evaluate your case for you.

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