Many people in Georgia may have heard about reports issued lately that indicate how, across the United States, the number of pedestrian deaths has been increasing. According to information published by The Verge, pedestrian fatalities in 2018 were the highest in 28 years. Last year’s pedestrian deaths rose by more than three percent over those in 2017 while overall vehicular fatalities dropped by more than two percent.

The thought of more people on foot being killed by cars, trucks, sport utility vehicles and other vehicles is alarming indeed. Residents in Georgia should not think that this is a problem just for other parts of the country. Records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that the risks to pedestrians are significant and growing in Georgia as well.

Last year saw the number of pedestrians dying in accidents increasing for the fourth consecutive year. In 2014, the state recorded 163 pedestrian fatalities. That jumped dramatically to 194 in 2015. The following year saw another sizeable increase to 232 foot traffic deaths. In 2017, 253 people on foot lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes. Last year, the state recorded 261 pedestrian deaths.

In addition to the number of pedestrian deaths increasing, these deaths represent a greater percentage of the state’s overall accident fatalities than they have previously. In the five years spanning 2014 to 2018, the lowest percentage of pedestrian to overall deaths was in 2015 when these fatalities accounted for 13.5% of all accident deaths. Last year saw the highest percentage of pedestrian deaths to overall deaths at 17.4%.