This week, the Georgia Department of Transportation released preliminary findings of their report on traffic safety. The statistics related to motor vehicle accidents involving pedestrians are tragic and disappointing. The authors of the study hope to use the data to identify and address the causes of pedestrian accidents, perhaps through new legislation.

New laws related to distracted driving have caused those accidents and fatalities to drop. However, the number of pedestrians killed and injured in motor vehicle accidents continues to climb, with the totals so far this year anticipating a record number of pedestrian deaths. Recently, two pedestrians died on the same night in different counties while trying to cross streets with heavy traffic. This brings the total for 2018 to 111 pedestrian deaths, 16 percent higher than June of last year.

Research shows that most pedestrian accidents occur when people try to cross arterial roads away from the intersection. A large number of fatal pedestrian accidents occur at night. More pedestrians are struck by larger vehicles, such as SUVs, and vehicles with high horsepower. Georgia also has the fourth highest rate of hit-and-run pedestrian accidents.

While it is true that pedestrians may carry part of the blame when they allow distractions to take their attention from the traffic, many fatal accidents involve drivers who are intoxicated or distracted. The vulnerability of pedestrians in motor vehicle accidents, especially those with larger vehicles, means a higher likelihood of critical, life-changing or fatal injuries. Victims and their families can seek compensation through civil courts by contacting an experienced attorney.