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It’s No Surprise: Pedestrian Fatalities are on the Rise

By Evan L. Kaine

A study published last week by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) said that in 2016, pedestrian traffic fatalities increased by nearly 21% in the state of Georgia; as compared to 2015. Unfortunately, this isn’t just a problem within the state of Georgia as pedestrian traffic fatalities increased in 34 states. The study also found that the number of pedestrians killed in 2016 increased by 11% compared to 2015, which is the largest annual increase in both the number and percentage in 40 years.

In Georgia alone, there were 109 pedestrian traffic fatalities – compared to the 90 pedestrian traffic fatalities in 2015. The statistics alone are warning both officials and drivers of the increased dangers of pedestrian accidents. Because the study is so alarming, some states have decided to take action in trying to combat the problem; thankfully, Georgia is one of those states.

Pedestrian Hit by a Car

Georgia launched the See & Be Seen Campaign which encourages drivers to look for people who are walking and for pedestrians to cross the road where they can best be seen. While both drivers need to be more cautious, especially around pedestrian walkways, pedestrians also need to be more aware of their surroundings. Far too often both drivers and pedestrians are looking down at their smart phone, rather than paying attention to what’s around them.

Pedestrian Death Prevention

In addition to the campaign targeting drivers and pedestrians, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) has also made efforts in solving the problem by doing the following:

  1. High risk bus stop corridor inventories to identify opportunities for improvement;
  2. Pedestrian-focused road safety audits;
  3. An updated Pedestrian and Streetscape Guide that includes clear guidelines for placement and protection of crosswalks;
  4. Analysis of hospital-based pedestrian injury data to target high-risk areas;
  5. Review of infrastructure projects at the concept level to ensure that all are in line with GDOT’s Complete Streets policy and will appropriately accommodate pedestrians; and
  6. Developing guidance and training employees to include pedestrian safety improvements in roadway maintenance and design projects.

With the help of the Georgia Department of Transportation, drivers and pedestrians, we can hopefully change this statistic and lives can be saved. If you have been involved in a pedestrian accident due to someone’s negligence, please contact our law firm today for a free case evaluation and legal assistance.

Published November 09, 2017
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