Why are Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents so Dangerous for metro Atlanta?

A fatal bicycle accident occurred in Austell, Georgia in the evening hours of Sunday, October 8, 2012. 54-year-old Ronnie Turner, from Austell, GA rode through a red light on his bicycle and was hit and killed by a car. Sadly, he died at the scene of the accident before being transported to a hospital. Witnesses stated that Turner was almost hit by a southbound vehicle on James Parkway, but a just few moments later, the northbound vehicle driven by Adam Yarbough struck him. The driver is not expected to be charged, and the accident remains under investigation by Cobb police in conjunction with the Austell Police Department.

Only 5% of crashes are fatal when a vehicle is traveling less than 20 miles per hour when it strikes a pedestrian or bicyclist. As the speed of the vehicle increases, so does the rate of fatalities. There is an 85% fatality rate when a vehicle is travelling at a 40 MPH rate of speed when it strikes a pedestrian or bike rider. Obviously the lack of any protection surrounding a pedestrian or cyclist, such as metal or a crumple zone, results in the human body absorbing the force of the accident to its full extent. Serious and life-threatening injuries are often the result.

What happens to the human body when it is struck by a vehicle?

When a person is struck by a vehicle, usually the first contact is with the legs of the pedestrian and bumper of the vehicle. If the pedestrian is hit by a truck, the contact will be higher than with a regular passenger car. Once the pedestrian is initially contacted by the vehicle, the pedestrian makes a second contact with the ground or the hood of the vehicle. This is based on Newton's third law of physics: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The force and angle of the vehicle striking the pedestrian will determine how hard they hit the ground or hood, and what injuries are sustained. Some common injuries that are sustained during pedestrian accidents include broken bones, serious internal injuries, traumatic brain injury, paralysis, and wrongful death.

Serious and life-threatening injuries aren't always seen externally:

Some injuries from pedestrian and bicycle accidents cannot readily be seen. Based on their variations relating to space, parts of the human body accelerate at different rates during impact. This phenomenon often results in tears in internal organs. One very serious injury that can occur during pedestrian accidents is an aortic dissection. This injury occurs when layers of the aorta (the major artery carrying blood out of the heart) separate and blood flows in between layers. If the tear goes through all three layers, there is an 80% mortality rate due to blood loss. There can also be traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries when a person's head strikes the windshield of a vehicle or the ground during a pedestrian accident.

The pedestrians that do survive accidents usually have a long road ahead of them to in order to fully recover. The amount of medical bills can be staggering: hospitalization, surgery, doctors' fees, physical therapy, and medication. There are also lost wages from missed hours at work and future medical costs. Victims of a pedestrian accident who have sustained a traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury are likely to need long term or round the clock nursing care which can add up quickly.

If you have been the victim of a pedestrian or bicycle accident, call The Law Office of Casey W. Stevens for you free consultation. We handle every pedestrian accident and wrongful death case on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not get paid until there is recovery of money damages in your case.

Call (770) 408-6364 for your free consultation with one of our North Georgia personal injury attorneys.

We have six convenient office locations in Dawsonville, Suwanee, Duluth, Woodstock, Roswell, Alpharetta and Atlanta. You can also contact us online to make an appointment with pedestrian accident lawyer, Casey W. Stevens.

Resources

http://www.walkinginfo.org/facts/facts.cfm

http://www.aaafoundation.org/pdf/2011PedestrianRiskVsSpeed.pdf