In a late-night tweet posted on Tuesday, October 6, the Georgia Department of Transportation West Central reported a fatal pedestrian accident that took place on GA 247 southbound at Green Street in Houston County. Authorities reported that all lanes were blocked for several hours after the accident occurred.
Houston County – a fatality accident involving a pedestrian on Georgia 247 southbound at Green Street (MP 19.31) has blocked all lanes. Estimated time of clearance – 12:00 a.m. Use alternate routes! pic.twitter.com/2j1Iwu9qnF
— GDOT West Central (@GDOTWest) October 7, 2020
According to the Macon Telegraph, the victim was identified as 70-year-old Lonnie Kendrick. Kendrick lived with his sister on Green Street and about 2 miles down the road from where he was killed. He was pronounced on scene at 8:36 p.m. from multiple trauma injuries.
Georgia pedestrian accident fatalities
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of traffic-related deaths has decreased in the state of Georgia as a whole in recent decades, but pedestrian accidents have increased for the 3rd year in a row.
In 2017, there were 253 pedestrian fatalities in Georgia. This number increased to 261 fatalities in 2018.
The most common reasons why these accidents occur are because of drowsy, speeding, drunk or distracted drivers and poorly designed roads. These types of collisions also happen more frequently when it’s dark outside and harder to see, and in urban or suburban areas of Georgia.
But drivers aren’t the only ones responsible for paying attention to their surroundings.
Pedestrians should also be aware of what’s going on around them before crossing an intersection and even while walking on the sidewalk. When they’re texting while walking, ignoring street signs or suddenly run into the road, a vehicle is more likely to hit them even if the driver is paying attention.
What can you do to prevent a pedestrian accident?
The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety recommends following these guidelines to make sure you stay safe while walking down the street in Warner Robins:
- Avoid wearing dark clothing at night because drivers and bikers have a hard time seeing you. Wearing bright colors or reflective gear can make a huge difference.
- Always cross the street in designated crosswalks. Those painted lines are there to protect you. They let them know that pedestrians might be crossing the street.
- If you see a car coming, try to make eye contact with the driver before you cross. Make sure they stop and see you before you step into the street,
- If crossing in a place with crosswalk signals, always obey them. When you see the pedestrian sign light up, look both ways before crossing and don’t try to beat the timer.
- Walk in highly visible areas at night. Stay on sidewalks that are well-lit by streetlights, store lights and gas stations so that drivers can clearly see you.
In addition, all Georgia drivers should:
- Slow down in high pedestrian areas such as downtown streets or near popular destinations. If it’s Friday and you know a lot of people will be out and about, use extra caution.
- Do your best to make eye contact with pedestrians who appear to be crossing the street so that they know you’re there. This is one of the most effective ways to prevent an accident.
- Obey school bus stopping rules. When you see a school bus come to a stop, don’t speed up and try to pass. Slow down and wait for the children to safely cross the street. Then, when the bus starts to move, continue driving.
- Don’t drive distracted. New texting and driving laws have recently come into effect, but this also applies to talking to friends or reaching behind you for something in the back seat.
Georgia pedestrian laws
Georgia statute §40-6-93 states:
Every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian upon any roadway, shall give warning by sounding his horn when necessary, and shall exercise proper precautions upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated, or intoxicated person.
In summary, this law means that if you see a child at play or an elderly person crossing the street or an individual having difficulties crossing the street, slow down and give them the time and space they need to safely cross.
And stay alert for any individuals while you’re driving, especially at night and on busy roads.
Are you the victim of a pedestrian accident?
If you’ve been hit by a car and are severely injured, or you’ve lost someone because of an accident, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced Georgia pedestrian accident lawyer who can help you make a claim and fight for your right to damages like pain and suffering, lost wages and medical expenses.
At the law firm of Westmoreland, Patterson, Moseley and Hinson, we are proud to serve the Macon, Albany and Warner Robins communities. We represent injured and disabled clients so that you don’t have to settle for less. Call our offices today for a free consultation with one of our expert legal advisors.