Most Car Crashes Can Be Prevented


Georgia ranks among the 10 states with the highest number of fatal car crashes. On average, more than 1,200 people are killed in traffic accidents each year in Georgia based on federal crash data from 2009 through 2012.

The fact is that many serious car accidents are not exactly accidental. Rather, they are the culmination of a chain of events triggered by poor judgment – drinking and driving, driving too fast for conditions, speeding or distracted driving. Many of these crashes could have been avoided if the at-fault driver would have used more common sense behind the wheel.

Many of Georgia’s most serious crashes occur in the Metro Atlanta area including Fulton, DeKalb, Cobb and Gwinnett counties, federal statistics show.

Top Georgia Counties for Traffic Fatalities

Rank County 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
1 Fulton 113 101 72 61 77
2 DeKalb 60 76 49 51 76
3 Cobb 67 35 35 42 47
4 Gwinnett 53 60 57 50 45

 

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

For those injured, the medical bills, lost income and ongoing pain and suffering can turn their lives upside down. For the families of those killed in traffic accidents, the unexpected loss of a loved one is difficult to bear.

Drinking and driving

Drunk driving accidents are entirely preventable. According to drinkinganddriving.org, 90 percent of drunk driving takes place after people drink alcohol with family, friends and co-workers. Too often, those who have been drinking refuse to admit that they have no business getting behind the wheel.

Alcohol affects people’s vision, depth perception and reflexes, all of which impacts their ability to drive. Overindulging also affects people’s judgment, often making them believe they are bulletproof. Unfortunately, that only puts them and the drivers around them in jeopardy.

Impaired driving was a factor in 301 fatalities in Georgia in 2012, representing a fourth of the state’s traffic deaths. Nationwide, alcohol-impaired driving was a factor in 31 percent of fatal crashes over the last four years of federal reports, NHTSA figures show.

Speeding violations

We’ve all witnessed motorists travelling at speeds far above the posted speed limits on I-285 and I-75, weaving in and out of traffic. In doing so, they are putting themselves at risk, along with others.

Speeding and driving too fast for conditions are leading causes of serious accidents. The faster people drive the less time they have to react to sudden situations that arise on the roadways. In Georgia, 180 people died in speeding-related accidents in 2012.

Driving while distracted

Not only do Americans drive too fast, they pay too little attention to the road. Distracted by smartphones and iPhones, drivers are caught in a cycle of technological distractions. Should it still be called an accident when a crash occurs while a driver is not looking at the road?

More than 3,300 people died in crashes involving distracted driving in 2012, according to distraction.gov. That includes any activity that can divert a person’s focus from the main task of driving, including texting, using a cell phone or smartphone, eating and drinking, adjusting a radio or CD player, grooming or even talking to passengers.

Another 421,000 people sustained injuries in crashes connected to distracted driving. Younger drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in deadly crashes, and 10 percent of drivers under 20 in fatal wrecks were distracted when they wrecked.

Motorists who consistently text while driving put themselves and others in grave danger.

Georgia prohibits drivers of all ages from texting while driving. And the state restricts all cell-phone use by young, inexperienced drivers. Until drivers of every age put away their cell phones while driving, the state will be plagued by distracted driving.

The solution

Motorists who avoid drinking and driving, abide by speed limits and stay focused on the roadway are the most likely to reach their destinations safely. Drivers who drink, speed or text are setting themselves up for a motor-vehicle crash and endangering others. The harm they cause through their disregard for safety is foreseeable by any reasonable motorist.

Drivers who cause serious accidents can be held accountable for the injuries they cause. An experienced Georgia accident lawyer can review your accident and explain your legal options.