There’s been an alarming uptick in the number of fatal pedestrian accidents all around the nation – and Georgia is no exception.
In fact, Georgia appears to be among the worst states for pedestrian safety. According to an analysis by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), Georgia had 109 pedestrian deaths in the first six months of 2019 – but that figure soared to 172 in the first half of 2022. That’s an overall increase of more than 57% between those two periods.
What’s going on? Why are pedestrian deaths on the rise?
Nobody has a definitive answer as to why there’s been such a huge increase in accidents involving pedestrians. They know that many of the fatalities have common denominators since 95% of those killed were not in crosswalks and 84% of the deaths occurred at night – but that doesn’t explain the overall surge.
For that, experts are looking at the overall psychological trends that might be affecting drivers’ behavior. Essentially, the theory is that there’s a “perfect storm” of conditions that may be behind the problem:
- For a year or two, a lot of people simply had to stay home, which meant that there were fewer vehicles (and pedestrians) out there. Now that traffic has returned to normal, some drivers can’t seem to adapt to sharing the roads again.
- The events of the last few years have made people more frustrated and angry about their situations, and that translates into more aggressive drivers.
- Others feel like the world as a whole has been spinning out of control, and that makes them inclined to be reckless with their own lives and others.
- Georgia lost more than 10% of its police force between 2019 and 2022, which means there’s less chance that a speeding driver will get caught – and that’s led some drivers to act with impunity.
The authorities are urging pedestrians to be extra careful these days, which means using sidewalks and crosswalks whenever possible, staying alert to traffic and oncoming vehicles while walking and wearing reflective clothing and gear at night. None of these things, however, guarantees that someone won’t be the next victim of an errant driver. If you’re injured or a loved one is killed, find out more about your right to fair compensation by seeking legal guidance as proactively as you can.