The Georgia roads can be risky for everyone. Accidents can occur without warning and people can suffer severe injuries and lose their lives. Some, however, are more vulnerable than others. Specifically, that refers to motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Particularly, pedestrians and the dangers they face are inviting greater attention in the Peach State.
Georgia saw major spike in pedestrian deaths in 2021
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) reported that Georgia had a rise of more than 45% in pedestrian deaths from 2019 to 2021. From 2020, the spike was just shy of 24%. For 2021, the initial estimates say that 348 pedestrians were killed in a Georgia accident. In 2020, there were 281; in 2019, there were 239.
It is believed that drivers are the prime cause for this increase with their behaviors. For example, despite Georgia’s increased vigilance about distracted driving, it remains a lingering issue. That, combined with drivers exceeding the speed limit, is causing accidents and increasing their severity.
Not watching the road will obviously put a person who is crossing the street – even if they are adhering to the law and the rules for safety – in jeopardy of an accident. The speed will make the accident and its aftermath worse. When compared to nearby states, Georgia again performed poorly as Alabama, North Carolina and Tennessee all had lower rates of pedestrian deaths.
Much has been made about law enforcement and legislative crackdowns on problematic driver behaviors like distracted driving, speeding and driving under the influence. Even automakers are taking steps to try and ensure people can get to their destination and those who are sharing the road with them have their fears reduced by creating and implementing safety features like automatic braking and lane departure warnings. Still, the statistics and anecdotal evidence is showing that pedestrians are increasingly in jeopardy.
This is a national problem that people must think about when they head out. Across the U.S., almost 7,500 people lost their lives in a pedestrian accident. This was the worst total in 40 years. Children 15 and under were especially vulnerable as their rates doubled from 2019 through 2021. Nationally, the increase in pedestrian deaths was 12% from 2020.
Those injured or left behind in a pedestrian accident likely need help
People may want to walk to save money – which is especially relevant given the current circumstances. They could want to stay in shape or are concerned about the environment. Pedestrians young and old are on the state roadways and any dangers they face can impact others exponentially.
When there is a pedestrian accident, people need to be aware of the litany of challenges they and their family might face. Medical expenses are exorbitant; the injured person could be left with damage that leaves them unable to care for themselves; working and contributing to a family might be impossible; and the emotional impact can be enormous.
The cause of the accident must be determined. If, for example, the driver was using a cellphone at the time of the collision, this is an important factor when deciding how to move forward. From the beginning, those who were affected by a pedestrian accident must think about how they can recover. Part of that is knowing how to be compensated financially. Discussing the situation with people who are caring and experienced is a first step to a successful claim.