More than 1,500 pedestrians have died while walking on Georgia interstates in the past five years. The Georgia Department of Transportation urges motorists to remain in their vehicles while on the interstate.
Why has the death rate increased so dramatically and what can motorists do about it?
Reasons pedestrian deaths are increasing
200 pedestrians died while walking on Georgia interstates in 2019. That number increased to 301 in 2020 and 350 in 2021. According to GDOT, motorists who exit disabled or wrecked vehicles without moving those vehicles into an emergency lane are largely to blame for the increase.
Tips for staying safe
If you have an accident or your vehicle breaks down on the interstate, move the vehicle as far off the road as you safely can and stay in it. Your risk of dying or suffering an injury dramatically increases once you exit your vehicle. If you need medical assistance or the police, call 911. If you need help with a disabled vehicle or non-injury accident, call 511 for a highway emergency response operator.
Turn on your vehicle’s hazard or emergency lights to make it easier for other motorists to see you. If you must exit the vehicle, make sure there are no approaching vehicles on the road and if you have pulled to the right side of the road, exit through the passenger door.
When vehicles strike pedestrians, severe injuries or deaths often result. This is particularly true on interstates where vehicles are likely to be moving at a high rate of speed. It is critical to avoid walking on interstates if at all possible.