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“Deadly Epidemic” on Georgia’s Roads is Alarming Safety Officials

Posted on - Wednesday, November 11, 2015 under Car Accident, Wrongful Death

A “deadly epidemic” is sweeping across Georgia according to state safety officials, but it’s not being spread by coughs and sneezes – it’s being spread on our highways and roads.

A report released in September by the Georgia Department of Transportation contains a number of alarming statistics about the dramatic uptick in fatal car, truck, motorcycle, and pedestrian accidents in Georgia. The state is on pace to have its first increase in traffic fatalities in nine years.

According to the GDOT report there were 1,065 traffic fatalities in Georgia through October 19, 2015, up from 943 deaths during the same period in 2014. That puts the state on track for over 1,200 deaths this year.

While many factors are involved in this increase in fatalities, there is little question that distracted driving has played a major role, according to officials. Georgia Office of Highway Safety director Harris Blackwood was quoted as saying:

“Georgia, like many states, is experiencing an increase in fatalities. Right now, we are on track for levels we have not seen since 2007. Many of these are single vehicle crashes where vehicles left the roadway and struck a tree, a ditch or a bridge. While not official, this is indicative of distraction and most likely that is texting.”

In response to this dramatic rise in traffic fatalities, GDOT recently launched its DriveAlert ArriveAlive safety initiative. The program focuses on educating drivers about simple changes to driver behavior that can hopefully reduce the number of avoidable deaths and injuries on our state’s roads. The focus is on seat belt usage and not texting while driving.

According to GDOT, in the first quarter of 2015, only 38 percent of victims in fatal crashes were wearing seat belts. Not only are seat belts required under Georgia law, it is estimated that seat belts reduce the risk of fatalities in traffic accidents by 45 percent and serious injuries by 50 percent.

As for the dangers of texting and distracted driving, Georgia law makes it illegal to text and drive, and for good reason. According to the National Safety Council, distracted drivers cause 23 percent of all crashes, and according to a federal report, 3,328 people were killed and approximately 421,000 people were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2012 alone.

As a personal injury lawyer, I’ve seen the devastation that can be caused by car accidents, trucking accidents, and motorcycle accidents. Many if not most of these accidents are preventable, and hundreds of individuals and families across Georgia can be spared the pain of a catastrophic injury or death by buckling up and keeping their eyes on the road at all times.

At The Parian Law Firm in metro Atlanta, Georgia, we represent injury victims exclusively and are committed to getting justice and compensation for our clients. Please contact us at (770) 727-5550 or chat live online with a member of our staff today.