Georgia Hands-free Law May Be Responsible for the Drop in Pedestrian Accidents
ATLANTA, GA – According to an online news report published on AJC.COM, fatal pedestrian accidents in Georgia fell by 16 percent in the first half of 2019. This is good news considering the number of fatal pedestrian accidents in the United States has been steadily on the rise. Although this news is positive, some experts believe the decrease may only be a "blip," and the number of fatal accidents could still be rising in the state of Georgia. According to a report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, 116 pedestrians were tragically killed in collisions with motor vehicles in Georgia during the first six months of 2019. This is down by over 135 for the first six months of 2018. Nationally, fatal pedestrian accidents increased by about 3 percent or 3,015 deaths during the same period.
In 2018, there was a sixteen percent increase when compared to data in 2017, per the Georgia Department of Transportation. In 2017, 260 pedestrians were hit and killed in the state of Georgia.
Both DeKalb county and Fulton county are the state’s leaders for the most deadly accidents involving pedestrians, according to statistics from the United States Department of Transportation.
On a national level, pedestrian accident fatalities have increased by almost fifty percent since 2009 and account for sixteen percent of accident deaths, per the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The IIHS, which is a non-for-profit organization that focuses on education and research to decrease the amount of fatalities and injuries from accidents, recently published a study on pedestrian deaths. According to their study, fatal pedestrian accidents most often happen in urban or suburban areas, outside of intersections, and on busy roads designated for funneling traffic towards highways. Pedestrian accidents have also been found to involve mostly sport utility vehicles and tend to occur during the nighttime hours when it is dark.
The IIHS president has announced, to help reduce the amount of pedestrian accidents, the government needs to understand where, when, and how pedestrian accidents occur in order to find solutions. The IIHS president also added that the data and analysis of pedestrian accidents will help us in understanding what types of improvements in road design must be developed. Also, making improvements to vehicle design, street lighting, and increasing speed limit enforcement will have a role to play in addressing the issue of pedestrian accidents.
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