Pedestrian deaths via car spiked in Georgia last year, raising new questions about safety.

Statewide, 182 people died in accidents with cars last year — the highest total since 1997, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Even as the total number of pedestrian crashes fell, 2013 was the second straight year of rising pedestrian deaths in the state.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is days away from releasing a report examining the problem and the state's efforts to improve pedestrian safety.

Most of the deadly crashes occur in metro Atlanta, which is both traffic-heavy and lacking sidewalks and safe crossing areas for those on foot.

A national study by Smart Growth America identified Atlanta as the eighth most dangerous large metro area in the nation for pedestrians — 839 pedestrians died in the metropolitan area from 2003 to 2012, the study recently revealed.

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