Georgia’s roads are increasingly dangerous for pedestrians and motorists | Georgia

(The Center Square) — Georgia’s highways are increasingly dangerous for motorists and pedestrians, anecdotal and restricted empirical information finds.

“There are several reasons why drivers have gone haywire since the start of COVID,” Carole Lieberman, a psychiatrist, instructed The Center Square by the use of e-mail. “When COVID and lockdowns began, there were fewer cars on the streets and highways, so drivers took advantage of this by speeding and making ‘whimsical’ impulsive maneuvers.

“They were given away with this a lot of the time and loved feeling like they ‘owned’ the street,” Lieberman added. So, despite many more cars being on the roads now, these drivers don’t want to give up their fun.”

A brand new Governors Highway Safety Association analysis finds that drivers national struck and killed 3,434 folks right through the primary six months of 2022, an building up of five% from a 12 months previous. Georgia recorded 109 pedestrian fatalities within the first part of 2019, 103 in 2020 and 165 in 2021, and the quantity greater to 172 within the first part of 2022.

The discovering follows a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration assessment of Federal Highway Administration data that estimated 1,353 fatalities in Georgia within the first 9 months of 2022, up 3.8% from 2021. The choice of fatalities national dropped 0.2% right through the similar duration, whilst the choice of fatalities dropped by means of 2% within the southeast.

“Another reason drivers are out of control is because of drugs, especially the legalization of marijuana,” Lieberman stated. “Despite some people claiming that marijuana is ‘no big deal,’ it does impair perception — amongst many other effects.”

Another reason why drivers are out of keep watch over is as a result of they actually are, Lieberman stated.

“Emotionally, people are feeling lost in this ‘new normal,’ whose parameters are still not clear — except that the world seems to be in big trouble,” Lieberman stated. “Between inflation, homelessness and the border crisis on the domestic front, and Putin and China spy balloons on the foreign front, many of us feel that the world may be coming to an end — so why not drive recklessly?

“Also, folks are angrier than they ever have been prior to,” Lieberman added. “They’re indignant that their global has been grew to become the wrong way up, in order that they are extra competitive — particularly after many hours taking part in violent video video games right through lockdown. So, they are getting rid of their aggression within the type of street rage — air rage, home violence and so on.”

Another issue appears to be policing changes in the past couple of years.

As of April 8, 2022, Georgia had 49,582 officers employed in 1,045 agencies. That’s down roughly 10.6% from 2019, according to the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council.

A POST representative did not immediately respond with newer numbers. Similarly, a spokeswoman for AAA did not respond to a request for comment.

“What’s going down in Georgia the final 3 years, it is a mirrored image of, sadly, what is going down within the country and the southeast,” Robert Hydrick, communications director for the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, told The Center Square. “We’re all doing the whole thing that we will be able to call to mind relating to schooling, enforcement, higher EMS care, higher engineering to do what we will be able to to forestall folks from shedding their lives in site visitors crashes.

“The biggest thing is it’s going to take people who are operating motor vehicles to understand that their behavior — that by following traffic laws and just being committed to traffic safety — will help prevent a lot of crashes and save a lot of lives on our roads,” Hydrick added. “Some hopeful signs that we’ve seen in 2020 and 2021 and early 2022 is … fewer people dying on our roads.”

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