New state-specific data about pedestrian accident fatalities in 2020 has been released, and it shows that there was a significant increase in accident deaths recorded last year in Georgia.
The Governor’s Highway Safety Association recently released a new report titled Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State, which tabulates the projected number of fatalities in 2020 in each state. Overall, there was a significant increase in pedestrian accident deaths in 2020, compared to 2019. In 2020, there were a total of 6,721 projected pedestrian accident deaths, compared to a total of 6,412 the previous year. This constitutes an increase of 4.8% nationwide from the previous year. Overall, 309 more pedestrians died in 2020, compared to 2019.
The picture is equally dismal in Georgia, which recorded a 14% increase in the number of pedestrians killed in accidents across the state in 2020. There were a total of 239 pedestrian accident deaths in Georgia, while that number increased to 273 in 2020. That makes it an increase of 34 pedestrian deaths or a 14% increase in the number of deaths involving pedestrians.
Overall, pedestrians seem to have been some of the biggest victims of rash driving practices like speeding, and other forms of aggressive driving in 2020. Motorists were much less inclined to slow down for pedestrians or look out for them, especially while driving during the night or in dangerous, low-visibility weather conditions.
Contrary to common believe, most pedestrian accidents actually occurred in areas of the roads other than intersections. Alcohol was a factor in almost half of the pedestrian-vehicle accidents. And the number of SUV’s and light trucks involved in pedestrian accidents steadily increased over the years. It goes without saying that accidents where a pedestrian is struck by a sport utility vehicle or light truck almost always results in serious, if not fatal, injuries to the pedestrian.
According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, the pedestrian accident fatality increase in 2020 is just part of a pattern of spiking pedestrian accident numbers over the past decade. The Governor’s Highway Safety Association found that the number of pedestrian accident fatalities in the country has increased by a staggering 46% during the decade between 2010 and 2019.
The numbers for 2020 are even more alarming, considering the significant reduction in vehicle movement last year. It is difficult to say yet whether increased pedestrian activity in 2020 contributed to this increase because we currently do not have a system of estimating variations in pedestrian activity that is similar to the system in place for estimating vehicular traffic.
The Governor’s Highway Safety Association is calling on states like Georgia to pay attention to evidence-based engineering strategies that could help make the roads safer for pedestrians. Speed management strategies will be key in helping keep pedestrians safer as we move forward. Single lane roundabouts, for instance, have been proven to be effective in preventing these accidents. Education and awareness campaigns must be strengthened to make motorists more aware of the need to respect pedestrian rights at all times. Current laws protecting pedestrians must be enforced effectively as we move through 2021 and see increased vehicular traffic on Atlanta roads.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident, talk to an Atlanta pedestrian accident attorney at the Katz Law Firm, and discuss your legal options for a claim for damages. You may qualify for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income, diminished earning capacity, pain and suffering and other forms of compensation. Talk to a lawyer at our firm and discuss your case.