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For the First Time in Nine Years, Traffic Fatalities Increase in Georgia

In April, three members of a heavy metal band were killed and eight others were injured when the driver of their van fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed into a tree. Two days later, an SUV involved in a crash with another vehicle fell 15 feet off of the I-285 and landed on the I-85. Unfortunately, tragic accidents such as these are on the rise in Georgia.

In 2015,automobile accident fatalities increased in Georgia for the first time in nine years, upsetting a consistent downward trend of traffic fatalities over the last nine years. As of December 23rd, there were 1,339 traffic deaths in 2015. This number rose 17% from the number of traffic deaths recorded in Georgia last year, a total of 1,170. The Georgia Department of Transportation stated that there was anincrease in single-car accidents occurring when drivers veer off of the roadways. Single-vehicle accidents accounted for the majority of accidents this year. Overall, single-vehicle crashes account for almost half of roadway deaths in Georgia. However, this year, single-vehicle accidents accounted for 60% of roadway fatalities. The Georgia Department of Transportation attributed the stark increase in single-vehicle accidents to careless driving as distracted, reckless, or inebriated driving generally causes accidents involving one car.

Careless driving may include:

  • Distracted driving such as talking or texting on a cell phone, eating while driving, distraction by passengers, applying makeup, tuning the radio, using a GPS navigation system, and general poor attention to the roads and surroundings,

  • Failure to use a seatbelt,

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol,

  • Driving while fatigued.

State transportation officials anticipated this outcome earlier in the year after observing an increase in traffic fatalities. In response, they launched theDrive Alert, Arrive Alive campaign. This campaign educates Georgia drivers about traffic fatalities and how to stay safe. It provides information on preventing single-vehicle accidents. The Drive Alert, Arrive Alive campaign stresses the following: wear a seatbelt, do not text or talk on a phone while driving, and only drive in an alert state. While traffic fatalities increased by 10% nation-wide this year, traffic fatalities in Georgia are well above the national average. It remains unclear as to why Georgia sees a higher percentage of automobile fatalities.

If you or a loved one were involved in a crash, you are probably suffering from physical and emotional pain as well as emotional and financial stress. If you think someone else’s careless driving caused the accident, aknowledgeable auto accident lawyer can help you.

Contact Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.

Experienced Atlanta metro area attorneys at Goldstein & Hayes can provide the help you need at this time. If you or someone you know were hurt or killed in an accident, support and guidance from an attorney can help you heal. It is critical to speak with an auto accident attorney before contacting an insurance claims adjuster, so pleasecontact us today for a free consultation and get the step-by-step help you deserve.