A child suffered serious injuries in a pedestrian accident in Marietta last week. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the 5-year-old boy was crossing the street with his mother and two other children, when they were struck by a Honda Accord. He suffered serious head injuries, and a broken leg.

Marietta police are investigating the accident. There is no information yet on whether the family was on a crosswalk at the time of the accident.

As a Coweta County pedestrian accident lawyer, I see that pedestrian accidents are often the result of negligent motorists who fail to pay enough attention to notice a pedestrian crossing the street right in front of them. Motorists who are speeding may not be able to stop in time to avoid a pedestrian. Frequently, drivers do not even notice a pedestrian until after striking them.  In most of these cases, the driver failed to spot the pedestrian because of cell phone use or other distractions. Text messaging requires a motorist's eyes to be taken off the road for more than 4 seconds. That's more than enough time for an accident. Motorists who are speeding, or driving under the influence of alcohol may also be unable to stop in time to avoid an accident. Alcohol slows down response times, making it harder for a motorist to avoid a pedestrian.

Pedestrians too can take steps to improve their chances of getting home safe.

Always cross on a marked and designated crosswalk.

Avoid distractions while walking. Talking on your cell phone or listening to the i-Pod while walking can prevent you from hearing motorist signals.

Wear brightly colored or reflective clothing while walking in the dark.

Walk in a group as much as possible. Pedestrians walking in groups tend to be spotted more readily.

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