Rate of Georgia pedestrian traffic fatalities decrease to start 2023

(The Center Square) — Georgia saw the rate of pedestrian traffic fatalities decline during the first six months of 2023, following a national trend.

While the number of pedestrian deaths fell in the first half of 2023, they remain higher than before the pandemic, according to new numbers in the Governors Highway Safety Association’s annual “Spotlight on Highway Safety” report.

The Peach State saw its fatality rate per 100,000 population during the first six months of the year drop from 1.53 in 2022 to 1.33 in 2023.

“A combination of factors creates this deadly situation for people walking on U.S. roadways,” GHSA said. “A steep drop in traffic enforcement across the country since 2020 has enabled dangerous driving behaviors – including speeding and driving impaired – to flourish.

“At the same time, roads are largely designed to prioritize fast-moving vehicle traffic instead of slower speeds that are safer for people walking,” GHSA added. “Many parts of the country lack infrastructure – such as sidewalks, crosswalks and lighting – that help protect people on foot. The U.S. vehicle fleet is increasingly dominated by larger, heavier vehicles that are more likely to injure or kill people walking.”

Regionally, Florida (1.76), South Carolina (1.6) and Tennessee (1.36) had higher rates, while Georgia’s rate was higher than Alabama (1.31) and North Carolina (1).

Nationally, GHSA projects the pedestrian fatality rate per billion vehicle miles traveled will be 2.1 in 2023, up from 1.8 in 2019. The numbers are based on preliminary data provided by state highway safety offices.