March 2011 Archives

March 7, 2011

Montgomery pedestrian accident highlights risks for Alabama residents

A Montgomery pedestrian accident has claimed the life of a 62-year-old man after an accident on East Boulevard, the Advertiser reported.

Our Alabama personal injury lawyers note a recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association, which found the number of fatal pedestrian accidents is not declining as quickly as the overall number of traffic fatalities nationwide.
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In this case, the victim was attempting to cross the street when he was struck on East Boulevard between Young Barn Road and Arbor Station Road. The 40-year-old driver was charged with driving under the influence.

Nationwide, the number of fatalities began to climb again during the first six months of last year after four straight years of declines.

"GHSA is concerned to see this reversal. One factor may be the increased distractions for both pedestrians and drivers," said Chairman Vernon F. Betkey Jr. "Anyone who travels in a busy city has seen countless pedestrians engrossed in conversation or listening to music while crossing a busy street. Just as drivers need to focus on driving safely, pedestrians need to focus on walking safely - without distractions."

Take that for what it's worth. But the vast majority of the pedestrian accidents we see are the fault of inattentive, impatient or negligent drivers. We think it just as likely that the uptick in fatal pedestrian accidents could be the result of more people walking during the economic downturn.

Nationwide, fatal pedestrian accidents have dropped from 4,892 in 2005 to 4,092 in 2009, an average drop of more than 200 a year. However, fatalities increased by 7 deaths during the first six months of 2010, to 1,891. While fatal pedestrian accidents in Alabama continued to decline, from 39 in the first half of 2009 to 27 in the first six months of 2010, the state still ranked 19th deadliest in the nation. The state is the nation's 23rd most populous.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 64 fatal pedestrian accidents in Alabama were reported in 2009.

Transportation for America ranked Alabama cities based on fatal pedestrian accidents in 2007 and 2008. Most dangerous based on number of fatal accidents per resident:

1) Mobile: 31 fatalities
2) Huntsville: 16 fatalities
3) Montgomery: 15
4) Birmingham-Hoover: 29
5) Decatur: 3
6) Florence-Muscle Shoals: 3
7) Tuscaloosa: 7
8) Anniston-Oxford: 2
9) Dothan: 2
10) Columbus: 12
11) Auburn-Opelika: 2
12) Gadsden: 0

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