With October labeled as National Pedestrian Safety Month, AAA is reminding drivers and pedestrians alike to stay on the lookout for each other when navigating roadways.
In 2021, 306 pedestrians were killed in Georgia, which was a 10% increase from the 279 who died in 2020, according to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. More than half of all crashes that involved a pedestrian, approximately 58%, happened in the Atlanta region.
AAA is now urging pedestrians to stay visible, alert and follow traffic rules while walking near roadways.
“It’s important to be aware of your surroundings as a pedestrian and a driver,” spokeswoman Montrae Waiters said. “We must all adhere to basic rules of the road because it only takes a second of not paying attention in busy, high-traffic areas to make you vulnerable to an accident.”
In efforts to stay safe as a pedestrian, AAA offers the following guidelines:
- Stay as visible as possible by always wearing light or reflective clothing and by walking in well-lit areas.
- Stay on sidewalks whenever possible and walk against the flow of traffic, using the left side of the road.
- Refrain from using phones and instead focus on the walk, as distractions can impede a person’s ability to anticipate a driver’s actions.
- Avoid wearing headphones in order to hear vehicles and respond more quickly to what is happening in the area.
Several factors that drivers should look out for according to AAA include:
- Staying alert and aware of pedestrians and anticipate that a pedestrian could enter a roadway at any time.
- Follow the posted speed limit signs and avoid distractions such as phones
- Always yield to pedestrians on crosswalks and reduce speed in crosswalk areas.
- Never pass a vehicle that is stopped at a crosswalk.