Driving can be a dangerous activity. You can drive as cautiously as you possibly can, but unfortunately, you cannot account for other drivers’ actions on the road. Many people get behind the wheel impaired by alcohol or drugs, or are simply not paying close enough attention while driving. Recently, an investigation by the Atlanta Journal Constitution discovered Georgia roads have been particularly dangerous with a sharp increase in the number of fatal crashes. The Atlanta Journal Constitution investigation found a 31% increase in fatal auto accidents in Georgia alone in the first quarter of 2015. The total number of deaths for the first quarter of 2015 is 295 – 70 more than last year.
The investigation uncovered some unsettling trends, including a rise in single vehicle fatalities (i.e. a driver veering out of the lane and crashing into something on the side of the road), which likely indicates careless driving behavior, such as speeding, driving under the influence of a substance, or distracted driving (i.e. texting, eating, putting on makeup). The investigation also revealed that the number of people involved in fatal accidents who did not wear a seatbelt has increased.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is encouraging people to buckle up and be alert while driving. Officials from the Georgia Department of Transportation say that they are not positive what is behind the increase in fatal auto accidents. Harris Blackwood, Governor’s Office of Highway Safety says “because of an improved economy, more people are employed and more people are driving.” Blackwood also theorizes that lower gas prices could play a role because more people are hitting the road more frequently.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is working on identifying some of the more dangerous roadways. The department found that most of the fatal crash increases have been in the metro Atlanta area, particularly in the northwest and southwest counties. Some transportation experts blame this on a recent increase in speed limits near metro Atlanta. However, the Georgia Department of Transport has found that the increases in auto accident deaths are not concentrated in areas where the speed limit has increased.
Georgia is not the only state where auto accident fatalities have increased. The National Safety Council has said that there has been a ten percent increase in auto accident deaths nationwide. The Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Georgia State Patrol have joined forces to raise awareness of this increase and encourage seat belt safety. Georgia State Patrol Captain Grady Sanford said: “We are proud to partner with the Tennessee Highway Patrol and Erlanger Health System with this important traffic safety message. With safety education and traffic enforcement efforts, we hope to see an increase in seat belt usage in both Georgia and Tennessee and ultimately save lives.”
Contact Goldstein Hayes & Lina, P.C.
After a tragic auto accident most people do not know what to do or where to turn for help. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, P.C. are available to answer any questions you may have related to the collision. Contact us today for a free consultation.