Fire Department Reports “Large Increase” In Pedestrians Hit By Distracted Drivers


The Decatur Fire Department wants our attention.  They have placed a crushed car in front of Decatur High School that was the result of an actual texting-while-driving incident.

The Decatur Minute reports that the Fire Department has seen a large increase in the number of pedestrians hit by distracted drivers in the last two months and wants to remind everyone in the community what can happen if you text and drive.

The Minute states that the car will be on display thru this Saturday November 21st.

Photo courtesy of The Decatur Minute

22 thoughts on “Fire Department Reports “Large Increase” In Pedestrians Hit By Distracted Drivers”

  1. I am sure there will be efforts to penalize everyone, rather than just those responsible. Additionally, for safety’s sake, the law doesn’t change physics~ walk behind a car, NOT IN FRONT of a car. Drive, don’t text. Text, don’t drive.

    1. So what are you saying, that people texting and driving shouldn’t be penalized? I think the penalties should be much tougher. In fact, if someone lacks the impulse control to ignore their phone while driving, I’m skeptical that they should even have a license. The front seat of a car is not a living room sofa.

    2. Thank God for utility poles. A very strong one saved my life. While walking to Piedmont Park on Piedmont Ave, a BMW missed a curve and plowed into a utility pole head-on a few feet behind us. Car parts went flying everywhere and the driver was found with serious injuries. The police suspected distracted driving. Please put away the phone.

  2. Recently I was out running, and was standing at the intersection of College and South Candler waiting for the light to change so I could cross the street. I started counting the number of cars that went by in which the driver had their phone in their hand. I lost count at eighteen. A couple of those drivers had a phone in their hand but were not looking at it. The rest were looking at their phones while driving. Combine that with pedestrians texting while crossing against the light or jaywalking in the dark and it’s miraculous that there aren’t dozens of people getting mowed down all over town every day. I know I felt extremely vulnerable standing near all those three thousand pound death machines manned by inattentive drivers.

    1. Yes, pedestrians texting is a problem too, but anyone driving “a 3000 pound death machine”, as you put it, has far more liability regarding distractions.

    2. Watching cars and drivers go by and observe how “attentive” they are to the road vs their phone…I do that sometimes, too, and it’s scary!
      So many drivers on the phone. What is wrong with people? It’s all ages, too. One of my pet-peeves, so dangerous and stupid.

  3. Cars hit people and unless the driver flees the scene or there’s impairment involved, it’s likely the DA will never pursue criminal charges. Meanwhile, we put up a small memorials to the dead and others write rebuttals to stories like this trying to deflect blame. Bring on the driverless cars!

    1. Yep. Several years ago, a distracted driver hit me as I was crossing Commerce (in a crosswalk, with the “Walk” signal). Serious injuries ensued. The quote by the Decatur officer on the scene (she’s no longer on the force, by the way): “Well, s##t happens.” Result: No citation issued.

  4. Thank you, Decatur Fire Dept, for approaching this problem creatively and aggressively. It’s not easy reaching our ‘invincible’ teens, but this will get the attention of at least a few.

  5. Every parent who reads this article should have a talk with their kids about why texting while driving just does not work. Back it up with a promise to confiscate the car keys if they don’t comply. And most importantly, model the appropriate behavior, because this isn’t just a teenager problem.

    1. So true. It was actually my daughter, when she was a teen, who made me put down my phone while in the car. She would call me on it any time I reached for my phone – and my “we’re stopped at light” didn’t cut it with her either. So maybe more teens should be having this conversation with their parents! 🙂

  6. It’s not just texting, though. I was nearly hit by a driver just not paying attention as she pulled onto the sidewalk from a business. In fact, upon making eye contact, she continued to drive forward. She didn’t stop until I yelled.

    I’m okay with people I know trying to run me over, as they might actually have a reason. But this was a stranger who obviously felt that people are in the way of her car.

  7. I was nearly ran over at a MARTA stop last week (Lindbergh). Girl was on her phone, approaching a 4-way stop and almost blew through the intersection with me in it. I was already halfway through the path and suddenly had to jump backwards, she would have hit me otherwise.

  8. For parents, there are apps that can be purchased which are supposed to prevent or discourage distracted driving. For the rest of us, I may be alone in this, but I’d prefer that all phones be designed to block all functions except the use of gps when in a moving car.

  9. I see many drivers distracted by GPS and the Waze app, cutting through our neighborhoods like there’s no tomorrow.

  10. I had a big chuckle when I read the headline. No doubt there are more “Pedestrians” struck by vehicles in Decatur. I cannot drive through the streets without the constant barrage of Runners, Adults, Teens, and children stepping off the curb in front of my moving vehicle in unmarked, unlit, non-crosswalk locations from downtown, to S. Candler, to Scott Blvd. We pay good money in taxes for the safety installation of crosswalks, and their light indicators to provide for the safety of the pedestrian and the auto owner/driver. I would not be surprised if your automobile insurance rates for the 30030 don’t go up commensurate with the number of personal injury claims. And during our festivals, instead of managing the crosswalks, our police and volunteers seem oblivious to the risk, crowd control, or jaywalking laws. Police Chief, what say you? This should not be a Fire Department issue? Site the Jaywalkers, at the probation office, on Church, jumping to McDonalds in the morning mid-street, @ JavaMonkey, @ Victory, @ Mini Kroger, @ Decatur High ….

    1. I’d be interested in knowing how you would propose to constantly keep jaywalkers from jaywalking. I know that DPD has ticketed jaywalkers but they cannot monitor every street all the time. Folks have to take a little personal responsibility. I do use my horn liberally when I encounter them.

    2. For our tax averse residents or other watchdogs of government spending, note that a broadly practiced culture of jaywalking is ultimately the most cost-effective means of traffic calming. #monderman!

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