Stay Safe! Georgia DOT reminds Georgians to be diligent following time change
Published 9:09 am Friday, November 3, 2023
ATLANTA – Many Georgians are likely looking forward to an extra hour of sleep this Sunday as Daylight Saving Time approaches its end on November 5. But the Georgia Department of Transportation (Georgia DOT) is asking motorists and pedestrians to take more precautions to reduce crashes and fatalities as it begins getting darker earlier. In fact, pedestrians out walking during the evening hours are nearly four-and-a-half times more likely to be struck by a car. And, according to estimates by the Governors Highway Safety Association, more than 7,500 pedestrians were killed while walking on U.S. roadways in 2022 – the most in 41 years. Specifically, in Georgia:
- Between 2007 and 2021, 2,983 people were killed while walking in Georgia.
- 82% of pedestrian fatalities occurred between 6pm and 6am
- Over 80% of pedestrian fatalities happen outside a crosswalk
- Between 2013 and 2022, 44% of pedestrian fatalities in Georgia were a result of a confirmed or suspected distracted driver
- U.S. pedestrian deaths totaled 7,341 in 2021 – an approximate increase of 22% since 2017
- 9 out of 10 pedestrians struck by a vehicle going 40mph die
With these staggering statistics in mind, it’s important to recognize that safety is a shared responsibility for both motorists and pedestrians. And with the end of Daylight Saving Time approaching, which brings with it reduced visibility, the Georgia DOT is offering the below tips for both motorists and pedestrians:
- Slow down, put down your cell phones and stay alert. During the evening hours, you need more time to see a pedestrian in your path.
- Use extra caution when driving in hard-to-see conditions, such as nighttime or bad weather.
- Keep in mind that pedestrians who are wearing headphones, hats or earmuffs may not hear your vehicle as it approaches.
- Carry a flashlight or attach reflective materials – such as fluorescent tape – to clothing, backpacks, purses, and briefcases. These materials reflect light from headlights back to drivers, making it easier to see you.
- Walk on sidewalks whenever they are available.
- Avoid jaywalking and crossing between parked vehicles.
- When crossing the street, look left-right-left for cars from the curb.
- Don’t assume a driver sees you. Do not cross the street if a car is coming and use a crosswalk if available.
Georgia DOT is doing its part for pedestrian safety through improved medians, crosswalks and pedestrian signals and added lighting. Pedestrian safety is a SHARED responsibility as motorists and walkers must look out for one another. The Georgia DOT’s SEE & BE SEEN pedestrian safety campaign aims to make it safe to walk in Georgia. Stay completely focused on the road and avoid distractions.
Georgia DOT also cautions that the clock adjustment could catch some drivers by surprise – with sun glare or darkness occurring during different parts of their familiar driving routine. Please Drive Alert Arrive Alive!
Georgia Department of Transportation plans, constructs and maintains Georgia’s state and federal highways. We’re involved in bridge, waterway, public transit, rail, general aviation, bike and pedestrian programs. And we help local governments maintain their roads. Georgia DOT and its nearly 4,000 employees are committed to delivering a transportation system focused on innovation, safety, sustainability, and mobility. The Department’s vision is to boost Georgia’s competitiveness through leadership in transportation.