DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — While numbers of overall traffic deaths are down nationwide, that's not the case for people hit by cars.
Pedestrian fatalities are up, and DeKalb County is seeing a spike in deaths this year.
"Our average is 23 over the last 10 years, pedestrian-related fatalities. That's where we're at right now," Maj. Greg Ivanov said.
Nationally and in DeKalb County, 35% of those killed on the roads are not in cars and not just on interstates.
DeKalb County is seeing the biggest spikes on busy roads, places with many businesses, where many people walk.
"Those areas like Covington Highway, Memorial Drive, Moreland Avenue," Ivanov said.
A deadly crash killed a woman last month on Moreland Avenue after she got out of her car following an accident.
Just last week, a hit-and-run driver killed a beloved mother and grandmother on Covington Highway.
Most of the fatalities, 61%, aren't during the day, but at night or early mornings when it's dark and hard to see.
"We see a lot of pedestrians with dark clothing, at nighttime. Over half of our accidents occur at night, so people need to be mindful when out on the streets of being visible," the major said.
The biggest message police have for drivers is to just watch your speed. That's the biggest factor in these deadly crashes. At 20 miles per hour, anyone hit has a 9 out of 10 chance to survive.
But increase it up to 40 miles per hour and there's a 9 out of 10 chance the impact will be deadly.
DeKalb police have partnered with the county's board of health and governor's office for highway safety to target the most dangerous areas and educate people.
© 2020 Cox Media Group