Pedestrians have a fair expectation that they will be able to walk safely from point A to point B. Unfortunately, pedestrian accidents are rising and they can often be fatal.

A report from the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) revealed there were 6,227 pedestrian deaths from traffic accidents in 2018. This is the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities in nearly 30 years.

Concern for Georgia pedestrians

While most deaths occur in big cities, larger trends contribute to the increase. Smaller communities such as Macon, Ga. can have several pedestrian accidents. In Macon, one in every 8,000 residents died in a pedestrian accident in 2018.

Significantly for all Georgia residents, the state is one of five in the nation that made up nearly half of all 2018 pedestrian fatalities. The other states were:

  • Texas
  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • California

Why are accidents increasing now?

Population growth can increase fatalities, but it is often not the central problem. Some people believe that transportation infrastructure heavily favors cars, not people, and that is a significant factor.

However, Richard Retting, who authored the GHSA report, said that sidewalks didn’t decrease as pedestrian accidents increased. He said the two most significant metrics are the increase in sport utility vehicles (SUVs) on the road and the increase in cell phone distractions.

SUVs have increased their market share for a long time, and since 2013 the number of consumers buying these vehicles is higher than those buying cars. Larger vehicles can cause more serious accidents.

In addition, cell data us among drivers and pedestrians increased 4,000 percent from 2008 to 2018. When fewer people are watching the roads, more accidents can occur.

What can injured pedestrians do?

Pedestrians can help keep roads safe by putting their phones away until they reach their destination. However, drivers who are distracted can still cause a serious accident.

There are several steps injured people or their families can take after an accident, and they have the right to seek compensation for their pain and suffering.