Georgia residents may be happy that spring has arrived in part because this time of year makes it so conducive to spend more time outdoors. Even the simple task of walking from a parked car to a destination can be more pleasant in temperate weather than in the midst of winter or the extremely humid days of summer. Unfortunately, when out on foot, even for short distances, people must be more vigilant about watching out for cars than ever before.
According to The Verge, the number of pedestrians killed across America has spiked dramatically in the last decade. One thing that makes this trend particularly disturbing is that the rate of pedestrian fatalities has increased while overall traffic fatalities have decreased. Between 2017 and 2018, the nation saw a drop in vehicular deaths by 2.4%. At the same time, the country saw an increase in pedestrian deaths by 3.4%.
In Georgia, the problem appears to be consistent. According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 1,540 total vehicular fatalities statewide in 2017. Of those, 253 or 16.4% were pedestrians. The following year, total fatalities dropped to 2018 and pedestrian fatalities increased to 261, representing 17.3% of all accident deaths.
In 2011, there were 130 recorded pedestrian deaths in Georgia. That year, foot traffic deaths accounted for 10% of all accident deaths across the state. Nationally, the nearly 6,300 pedestrian deaths in 2018 was the greatest number of such deaths since 1990. Despite advanced safety features being rolled out in new vehicles, including pedestrian detection systems, it seems more remains to be done to keep people on foot truly safe.