SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – October is Pedestrian Safety Month and this year the topic of pedestrian safety has become even more prominent.
“In recent years, the number of pedestrian fatalities has increased dramatically across the country,” said National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF) communications director David Reich.
According to NRSF data, pedestrian fatalities have increased by 4.8% nationwide since 2019. In Georgia, this percentage is even higher.
“In Georgia, there were 273 pedestrians killed on the road, an increase of 14%,” explains David Reich.
Across the country, a total of 7,200 pedestrians and cyclists were killed in crashes last year.
“A big reason for this has been the distraction,” says David Reich
Shreen Shavkani is a teenage girl from Georgia and a member of the National Steering Committee for Students Against Destructive Decisions. She shares how important it is for young drivers who are new to the road to learn how to correctly detect pedestrians.
“A lot of my peers especially like it when they are driving, they don’t really pay attention to pedestrians on the side of the road and crossing signs,” Shavkani explains, “they pay attention to red light, green light, yellow light, and i think it’s important to educate them especially knowing that as good, these crosswalks exist for a reason.
Pedestrians and cyclists can take a few simple steps to protect themselves.
“Make sure you walk on the sidewalk as much as possible, and if there are no sidewalks, make sure you walk the furthest away from traffic, but also walk in the same direction so that people can see you, ”Shavkani says,“ on this point also make sure you wear reflective clothing if you walk around at night or just generally bright clothing so people can see you and make sure you are there and that you are just visible, and also make sure that, again, you watch out for cars coming out of driveways and parking lots.