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Recommendations for increased pedestrian safety in Georgia

PEDS is an advocacy group in Georgia working diligently to improve the safety of our state's roads for people who are walking on foot. They have compiled excellent information about changes our municipalities and governments can make to reduce pedestrian-related car accidents.

As PEDS points out, walking should not be risky; nevertheless, it's more dangerous now than ever. In 2016, 235 pedestrians died in Georgia because of car accidents.

In response to the tragedy of so many pedestrian-related fatalities, PEDS created a 5-year action plan to assist the Georgia Department of Transportation to improve safety. The plan offers the following guidance:

  • Some of the biggest risks to pedestrians in Georgia are the state's wide, multi-laned traffic ways that don't have safe crosswalks and/or don't have sidewalks. Georgia needs to develop clear policies regarding the positioning of crosswalks, and better policies to ensure that more sidewalks are present.
  • Users of public transportation are the most at risk of getting into a pedestrian accident with a vehicle. Having more buses, more bus stops and safer ways of getting to bus stops is needed.
  • The slower drivers go, the less likely they will hit a pedestrian, and the less likely they will kill a pedestrian if they do hit one. Nine out of ten pedestrians hit by a car traveling 20 mph survive. At 30 mph, five out of ten survive. At 40 mph, one out of 10 survive. The state of Georgia should post more warning signs to alert drivers to slow down their speed. Georgia should also review its current speed policies in different areas to ensure that they are safe and appropriate.

Pedestrians injured by vehicles can also do something to help bring more awareness to the issue of pedestrian safety by pursuing personal injury claims in civil court. With more lawsuits regarding pedestrian injuries, this serious problem will receive more attention in the public eye.

Source: PEDS, "Safer people, Safer streets," accessed Oct. 06, 2017

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