The New Year is supposed to be a new beginning, but if Georgia highways are any indication we are on the path to another deadly year for drivers. From December 30, 2016, to January 2, 2017, officials reported eleven fatalities on Georgia highways, wrapping up a deadly year for Georgia drivers and starting what could be another year for record traffic fatalities.
How bad were the fatality rates on Georgia highways in 2016?
Harris Blackwood of the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety announced the preliminary fatality counts for 2016 are already in the 1,500 range, and the department expects that number to rise as it finalizes the full reports. This estimate an almost 5 percent increase over 2015's 1,432 fatalities, and a 28 percent increase from 2014's 1,170 fatalities.
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) began 2017 by reporting on at least nine fatal crashes on Georgia highways.
What is causing the increase in Georgia highway fatalities?
There is no singular reason for the rise in fatalities in Georgia. In a statement to CBS 46, Blackwood said, "People are running into structures, they are running into other cars, they are departing the roadway, crossing the center line and all those are symptomatic of distracted driving."
Distracted driving is not the only dangerous behavior that we could attribute these accidents to. We might also want to consider:
Traffic, especially on the highways surrounding Atlanta, has always been a concern for drivers in the area. One of the effects of heavy traffic is the tendency for drivers to become aggressive, which can lead to tailgating, abrupt movements, and other dangerous actions.
When a driver is intoxicated, he loses the motor skills, coordination, and attention necessary to operate his vehicle safely. Intoxicated drivers lose the ability to react quickly and are more prone to drift into other lanes or ignore traffic control devices.
How can I avoid an accident?
Not many will disagree when you claim that Atlanta highways are dangerous, but there are things you can do to minimize your risk of accidents and injuries:
- Never drive distracted. (This includes all types of distractions from cell phone use to eating.)
- Always drive sober.
- Stay calm. Becoming angry can make you more reckless and more likely to cause or be involved in an accident.
- Always wear your seat belt.
When an Accident Happens, Know Where to Turn for Help
Even the safest driver is at risk of an accident when other drivers are negligent or reckless. While you can help reduce the risk of an accident by always driving alert, sober, and safely, there are always people who will ignore that advice. When the unthinkable happens, and you suffer serious injuries in an auto accident, know there is help available to you and your family.
The Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. is here to help injured Georgia residents seek justice for their damages after a serious auto accident. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment for a FREE consultation regarding your legal options after a car accident. 404-474-0804.