Georgia’s traffic fatality figures for last year presented a great leap in bicyclists’ and pedestrians’ deaths along Georgia roads. One cycling advocates said that the reason is quite obvious: the city has lowered speed limits and increased the number of bike lanes in its effort to make the way safer. In fact, the state has adopted all-user safety on its roads.
Last year, Atlanta made headlines as the bicycling milieu with the opening of the Eastside Trail Beltline and green lanes in 5th Street. With these initiatives, it greatly increased the number of bikes making the city a truly bicycle-friendly community.
However, the state of Georgia didn’t fare well as incidence of bicycle fatalities increased last year. There were 19 Georgians killed in bike crashes. Georgia’s DOT reported that there were only 13 deaths reported in 2011. Even the death of pedestrians increased to 168 killed in 2012 from only 124 in 2011.Deaths in car accidents was increased by 5.
According to GDOT, a total of 1,193 deaths were recorded in Georgia in 2012, which decreased from 1,236 in 2011.
This main reason points to the vulnerability of pedestrians and cyclists who are plying the road without any metal encasing their bodies unlike those inside their vehicles.
Although figures spoke louder than words when it comes to road safety issues, there was no mention whether bicycling is safer or more dangerous. Agencies do not count bicycle riders and people walking on the roads. Today, new tech has presented ingenious ways of counting which they should adopt.
Looking at the records, none of the fatal bike crashes occurred in the city of Atlanta. A recent report from the Highway Safety Office of the Governor gave an explanation.
According to their report, many fatal mishaps happened on big and busy streets where speed can even go over 45 MPH. In comparison, in cities were cycling is encouraged, the speed is lower as there are more congestions and traffic signals. Today, there are still big city streets frowning upon cycling due to congestion. They should remember that it is speed not heavy traffic that causes accidents.
Luckily, there is a way to decrease serious bike crashes.
Based on reports, none of those riding their bikes were involved in any crash when they were using the bike lanes. This means that lanes for bikes — especially the recent ones that are well- protected and called cycle tracks. These lanes are materially separated from cars and bikes by the use of planters or raised curbs. They are safe alternatives and attract new riders. People who are afraid to use their bicycle into busy streets feel safe using the cycle tracks across the country. Chicago recently opened its 30th mile of cycle track and observed that increasing bike traffic is a key to economic growth.
Georgia has started to adopt these projects which they called Complete Streets policy that is intended to offer safe lanes for pedestrians, bikes, and transit, as well as other vehicles.
There are many existing six-lane materials without any sidewalks; without safe crossings and the absence of bike facilities.
The government must set aside a state safety budget to spend for these life-saving improvements. This is the solution to prevent bikers and pedestrians from dying at a high rate in the roadways of Georgia. The government must continue building infrastructures that will lead to safety. Not to mention, a strong imposition to outlaw cell phones while driving that will decrease fatalities on the road.
Talking about car accidents, you should never forget that the famed author of Gone with the Wind was killed in a car crash in Atlanta. The tragedy of Margaret Mitchell will be a good lesson to avoid car accidents. She was hit by a speeding auto while crossing Peach Street near 13th Street in Atlanta. She was a with her husband on their way to see a movie. She died five days later at the Grady Hospital without regaining consciousness.
Car Accident victims may be entitled to financial compensation for pain and suffering in addition to economic damages.
Source: Accident in Com