On October 16th, the Atlanta City Council voted unanimously to lower the speed limit of the Grant Park passage between Mead Street and I-20 on Boulevard. The measure, which would lower the speed limit from 35 to 25, is currently headed to Mayor Kasim Reed’s desk. Mayor Reed has eight days to approve or veto the measure, though the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the measure is not expected to meet opposition.
The measure was brought to Council by District 1 Councilwoman Carla Smith after residents asked for legislation that would make Boulevard safer for pedestrians. While no traffic study has been conducted, recent and planned projects on Grant Park’s Boulevard side have made timing optimal for a permanent speed reduction.
PEDESTRIAN ACCIDENTS AND SPEED
Speed plays a direct role in the severity of injury sustained in pedestrian accidents. According to a study conducted by AAA, there is a 10% risk of severe injury when a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle traveling at 16 mph. Risk of serious, potentially permanent injury increases accordingly with speed.
AAA reports risk for serious injury is:
- 25% at 23 mph
- 50% at 31 mph
- 75% at 39 mph
- 90% at 46 mph
This same report finds that risk of fatal injury is:
- 10% at 23 mph
- 25% at 32 mph
- 50% at 42 mph
- 75% at 50 mph
- 90% at 58 mph
By reducing the speed limit on Boulevard, risks for serious and fatal injury will be reduced as well. In a city that ranks eighth for pedestrian danger, any step City Council makes to protect this vulnerable segment of the population is a step in the right direction.
WHAT CAN YOU DO WHEN INJURED BY A MOTOR VEHICLE?
Even if this reduction in speed is approved, the risk of pedestrian accidents on Boulevard will not be eliminated. Remember, there is still a 25% chance of serious injury and a 10% chance of death at speeds lower than 25 mph, making it important that pedestrians and cyclists continue to practice caution when using this section of road.
Victims of serious injury and family members of those killed in pedestrian accidents may be entitled to compensation well beyond the initial settlement offerings of insurance companies. Insurance companies are for-profit corporations with investors and stakeholders who demand the value of shares increase yearly. This can translate to companies offering quick settlements in an effort to avoid legal action and, while these settlements may seem adequate, they are all too often much less than what is truly owed to victims of catastrophic injury.
The Atlanta personal injury lawyers at Lourie, Chance, Forlines, Carter & King understand the economic and noneconomic damages that can accompany serious or fatal injury. If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in any type of accident, we are here to review your case free of charge to help you understand your rights, your options, and the most effective way to get the full compensation you are due.
Serving Atlanta and surrounding communities, Lourie, Chance, Forlines, Carter & King is a full-service personal injury law firm with attorneys who are dedicated to getting justice for people injured through the negligence of others. Call us at 404-760-7400 to schedule a free consultation to learn more.