Pedestrian accidents are an unfortunate reality in Bibb County and throughout Georgia. While these accidents are somewhat rare compared to collisions between two vehicles, the outcome is often far more devastating. To combat the growing trend, the County developed a Pedestrian Safety Review Board. But has this attempt been successful?
Pedestrian Accidents Nationally
In 2006 alone, nearly 6,000 pedestrians died after being struck by a motor vehicle according to the Center for Disease Control. However, these fatal accidents pale in comparison to the number of severe non-fatal injuries that occurred during the same period. Nearly 129,000 Americans sustained injuries that required a trip to the emergency room.
These numbers do not cut evenly across all demographics. Pedestrian accidents disproportionally impact children and the elderly. Older Americans make up 20 percent of all pedestrian deaths, while one out of every five children that die in a traffic crash are pedestrians.
Intoxication also plays a major role in these accidents. Drunk drivers are less likely to notice a pedestrian or react in time to prevent a crash. The result: nearly half of all fatal pedestrian accidents involve alcohol use by one or more parties.
The Review Board
Born from the idea of one county commissioner, the purpose of the Board is to reduce and eventually eliminate the currently-growing threat of pedestrian accidents. The high number of fatal accidents led the county to move forward with creating the Pedestrian Safety Review Board. The Board pulls members from a variety of departments within the county, including the sheriff’s office, zoning board, and health department.
The Review Board is not without resources. Thanks to federal grants, they have spent approximately $40,000 on their “On The Move” campaign. In addition to awareness events, these funds also paid for lighted armbands free to anyone that walks at night. In addition to those funds, the board also received roughly $10,000 from the county Sheriff and the health department. This money has gone to additional awareness campaigns including signs and billboards. The Board does more than awareness and giveaways, however. They advise the county on how to spend money that could impact pedestrian safety, like sidewalk improvements.
Are their efforts working? The jury is still out. Since the formation of the board, the number of pedestrian accidents each year has fallen slowly but steadily. However, the number of pedestrian deaths in 2018 equaled the number of fatalities in 2016 and 2017 combined. Still, this is an improvement compared to other counties in the state who have not made similar efforts.
Contact a Georgia Pedestrian Accident Attorney Today
While the Review Board’s goal is noble, it is important to note that eliminating serious pedestrian accidents is years away at best. In the meantime, pedestrian accidents will remain a sad reality. If you have suffered an injury after being hit by a vehicle, you could have a claim for monetary damages. To learn more, reach out to the attorneys at Williams Elleby by calling 833-LEGALGA.