ATLANTA - New statistics show traffic fatalities are on the rise in Georgia.
According to data from the Georgia Department of Transportation, more than 1,000 people have died on the state's highways so far in 2021 - an increase of 8% from this time in 2020.
Pedestrian deaths are up nearly 17%.
The uptick in traffic deaths started at the beginning of the pandemic and is not relenting.
"The biggest factors in car crashes tend to be the big three, speeding, impaired driving, and distracted driving," AAA spokesperson Mark Jerkins said.
Jenkins says especially on metro Atlanta roads, speed can kill.
"If there’s a collision and you’re speeding, that just means a greater impact in the larger likelihood that somebody is injured or killed," he said.
In one weekend alone in September, 16 people - including four teenagers - were killed in car crashes.
"Whether it’s 100 fatalities or several thousand, it’s too many. Our goal is to try to educate people about the dangers out there," Jenkins said.
And with the season changing, officials are issuing a new warning about changing conditions.
"Rain on the roadway or just when it gets darker earlier I mean it’s important to pay close attention to the environment around you," he said.
The trend is not just here in Georgia, but also across the country.
In the first three months of 2021, early data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that nearly 9,000 people have died in accidents.
That's up more than 10% from the same time last year.