RICHMOND COUNTY, GA (WFXG) - As the weather starts to heat up, more pedestrians are expected to be out. Richmond County Sheriff's Office has some advice on staying safe if you're going to be out this summer.
Several pedestrians have been struck already this year. Sgt. Mark Chestang, with the Traffic Division of Richmond County Sheriff's Department, says it will only get worse now that the season is changing.
"Summer months you get more pedestrians out walking; they're out late because its nice, same thing for a bicyclist," Chestang said.
We are halfway through the year and numbers show that Richmond County is on track to meet the same numbers of pedestrians struck last year, this year. But, officials say this can all be avoided.
"Biggest thing is pay attention, that is probably our biggest fault behind the wheel," Chestang said.
In order to be visible to those in a car, it's important to wear a safety vest and veer away from wearing dark clothing. They say drivers can help protect pedestrians and cyclists by keeping their eyes on the road and minimizing their distractions.
Some of the variables Chestang advises drivers to stay away from are: the radio, your phone, rushing to work, coffee, food. Officials say the most important thing is to be focused and be aware.
According to the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, in 2017, there were 28 accidents involving a bicycle and so far this year, Richmond County is at 11; in 2017, 71 Pedestrians were involved in an accident and right now 29 have been struck for 2018.