Walking is a popular mode of transportation for many Georgia residents. Whether it is for commuting to work, exercising or simply enjoying the outdoors, walking is part of everyday life. However, recent data shows an alarming trend: pedestrian accidents in Georgia are on the rise. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, pedestrian fatalities in Georgia rose a staggering 57.8% from 2019 to 2022.
This increase in pedestrian accidents is a serious concern, and understanding why these accidents are increasing is important.
Increasing traffic and distracted driving
More cars on the road often mean more risk for pedestrians. Georgia’s growing population has led to increased traffic, particularly in urban areas. Along with more vehicles, distracted driving is a significant issue. Drivers who use their cell phones, eat or engage in other activities while driving pose a significant risk to pedestrians.
Poorly designed roadways and lack of pedestrian infrastructure
Another contributing factor is the design of Georgia’s roadways. Many streets lack sufficient sidewalks, crosswalks and pedestrian signals. This lack of pedestrian infrastructure puts walkers at a disadvantage and increases the risk of accidents.
Inadequate lighting and visibility issues
Accidents also frequently occur due to poor lighting and visibility issues. Many streets in Georgia lack adequate street lighting, making it hard for drivers to see pedestrians. Moreover, pedestrians often wear dark clothing, further reducing visibility.
Alcohol and drug use
Alcohol and drug use contribute to the increase in pedestrian accidents as well. Impaired drivers have slowed reaction times and impaired judgment, leading to an increased risk of accidents. Pedestrians under the influence also face a higher risk as they may not make safe decisions.
Steps to improve pedestrian safety
Despite these challenges, there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Always use sidewalks and crosswalks when available, make yourself visible by wearing light-colored or reflective clothing and avoid distractions while walking.
Understanding the causes behind the rise in pedestrian accidents in Georgia can help you take proactive steps to protect yourself. Increased awareness and safe behaviors are essential for reversing this troubling trend.