Stopping Sight Distance in a Norcross Pedestrian Accident | Expert Study

Stopping Sight Distance in a Norcross Pedestrian Accident

When filing an injury claim, it is critical to understand the stopping sight distance in a pedestrian incident.

Below is an excerpt from a demand, focused on an expert’s analysis of stopping sight distance for a Norcross pedestrian accident. If you or a loved one was struck by a vehicle, reach out to a compassionate and skilled lawyer for help.

Expert Analysis

Stopping sight distance is the sum of 2 distances: (1) the distance travelled by Mr. Driver from the instance he sighted Pedestrian 1 and Pedestrian 2 necessitating a stopping condition to the instance Mr. Driver applied the brakes and (2) the distance needed to stop Mr. Driver’s 2001 Toyota Solara once the brake is applied.  These two distances are normally referred to as (1) brake reaction time and the distance traveled associated with that time and (2) brake distance.

Brake reaction time can vary from 2/3of a second to well above 2 ½ seconds, depending Mr. Driver’s alertness and when he first noticed an event that necessitate stopping.  Obviously, brake reaction time is also dependent on how far Mr. Driver can see to spot a threat so that he may react appropriately.  At 45 mph, a quick reaction time of .67 second is equivalent to a vehicle traveling another 44 feet and a slow reaction time of 2.5 second is equivalent to traveling another 165 feet before the brake is applied.

Brake distance is based on deceleration rates.  Normally, deceleration rates are 11.2 feet per second squared.  In unexpected conditions, “slamming on the brakes” deceleration rate can be as high as 14.8 feet per second squared.  At 45 mph and normal deceleration of 11.2 feet per second squared, it would take another 195 feet to stop.  Likewise, at 45 mph and “slamming on the brakes” deceleration rate of 14.8 feet per second squared, it would only take another 147 feet to stop.

Measuring Pedestrian Walking Speed

Pedestrian walking speed is normally 3 ½ feet per second.  Each lane of traffic is usually 12 feet wide.  It takes a pedestrian about 3.43 seconds to cross each lane.  For Pedestrian 1 and Pedestrian 2 to have crossed 3 ½ lanes and traveled 42 feet, it would have taken them about 12 seconds since they left the sidewalk.  A vehicle traveling 45 mph travels at 66 feet per second.  When Pedestrian 1 and Pedestrian 2 left the sidewalk, assuming Mr. Driver was traveling at 45 mph, he was at least 792 feet away.  Given the sights from both pedestrians’ point of view, it was reasonable and safe to cross (see Exhibit #2, Photos from Pedestrian 1’s Point of View).

Therefore, assuming Mr. Driver was traveling at 45 mph and with the quickest reaction time of 2/3 of a second and quickest deceleration rate of 14.8 feet per second squared, i.e. “slamming on the brakes,” Mr. Driver would have been able to stop his vehicle within 191 feet from his first sight of Pedestrian 1 and Pedestrian 2.  There was nothing limiting Mr. Driver’s sight of Pedestrian 1 and Pedestrian 2 from 191 feet away (see Exhibit #3, Photos from Mr. Driver’s Point of View at 191 Feet Away).  Likewise, assuming Mr. Driver was traveling at 45 mph and with the slowest reaction time of 2 ½ seconds and normal deceleration of 11.2 feet per second squared, Mr. Driver would have been able to stop his vehicle within 360 feet.  Again, there was nothing limiting Mr. Driver’s sight of Pedestrian 1 and Pedestrian 2 at 360 feet away (see Exhibit #4, Photos from Mr. Driver’s Point of View at 360 Feet Away).

Drawing a Conclusion

When Mr. Driver was 191 feet away from the moment of impact, Pedestrian 1 and Pedestrian 2 was about 10.15 feet away from the area of impact, meaning they have already crossed 2/3 of the third southbound lane already.  When Mr. Driver was 360 feet away from the area of impact, Pedestrian 1 and Pedestrian 2 were 19.07 feet away from the area of impact, meaning they were entering the third southbound lane after crossing almost 2 lanes already.

Mr. Driver was unable to stop in time because by the time Mr. Driver saw Pedestrian 1 and Pedestrian 2 necessitating a stop condition, it was too late.  According to the Investigating Officer of the DeKalb County Police Department, there was no skid mark at the area prior to the point of impact (see Exhibit #1, Georgia Uniform Motor Vehicle Accident Report).  Additionally, according to our reconstruction expert, there was no skid mark at said area on September 5, 2018 (see Exhibit #5, Photos of Area of Impact).  The fact that there were no skid marks is evidence that Mr. Driver never reacted.  The fact that Mr. Driver never reacted is because he failed to see Pedestrian 1 and Pedestrian 2.  The fact that Mr. Driver failed to see Pedestrian 1 and Pedestrian 2 is because he failed to maintain a diligent outlook, which is a breach of his duty to Pedestrian 1 and Pedestrian 2 as a driver of a motor vehicle.  Instead, Mr. Driver assumed that the road ahead of him was free and clear of pedestrians, which is also a breach of his duty to pedestrians Pedestrian 1 and Pedestrian 2 as a driver of a motor vehicle.  See Young v. Kitchens, 228 Ga. App. 870, 873 (3), 492 S.E.2d 898 (1997).

Call an Attorney to Understand How Stopping Sight Distance in a Norcross Pedestrian Accident Might Help a Claim

The legal process of proving negligence, and demonstrating that this negligence led to a claimant’s injuries, is often complicated. Having the assistance of an expert’s analysis of stopping sight distance for a Norcross pedestrian accident might prove to be essential for a civil lawsuit.

Therefore, anyone injured in a pedestrian incident might benefit from the knowledge and network of a well-practiced lawyer, who could help to shape a demand and identify the proper experts for a claim. To get started, reach out to a legal professional today.

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