Caution urged for pedestrians in dark hours

Many people in Georgia love the ability to ride their bike, walk or run for exercise. They may even find these activities to be viable alternatives to driving their cars, trucks or sport utility vehicles to and from work. While these forms of exercise are generally considered good for a person’s health, it seems that they may also expose people to new forms of risks, especially during dark hours. 

According to The Washington Post, traffic fatalities involving bicyclists and pedestrians have been following a dangerous and upward trend. While deaths in motor vehicle accidents are down overall when considering all contributing factors, deaths of pedestrians and bicyclists are up. For pedestrians, between 2017 and 2018, the number of people killed grew by more than three percent. For bicyclists, the number of people killed jumped over six percent. 

In the same time period, overall vehicular fatalities dropped by almost 2.5% and in the first two quarters of 2019, vehicular deaths were down by close to 3.5%. This even included a decline in the number of people killed in auto accidents in which alcohol or excessive speed were factors. Pedestrian and cyclist deaths appear to be a particular problem in cities instead of rural areas. People walking, running or riding a bike when there is no daylight were also more likely to be killed by vehicles. 

In 2012, pedestrian deaths represented 12% of all traffic fatalities nationwide. By last year, that percentage increased to 17%. When cyclist deaths are added to pedestrian deaths, the two groups accounted for one out of every five vehicular fatalities. 

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