Motor vehicle accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. In 2018, there were 1,514 traffic fatalitieson Georgia roads, and fortunately these numbers have seen a slow decrease since 2016. There is a heavy flow of traffic especially during the summer and around holidays, with students off from school and other people traveling. Safe driving practices can help continue to reduce the number of accidents and create safer Georgia roadways.
These 2018 statistics from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) paint a detailed picture of motor vehicle accidents in the state:
- 70% of fatalities in crashes are caused by unsafe driving behaviors like speeding or impairment
- 1,514 traffic fatalities in 2018 were equivalent to an average of 4 deaths per day
- 59% of accident victims were identified as not wearing a seatbelt or unknown
- 17% of accident fatality victims were pedestrians
What can you, the driver, do? Many accidents that occur are preventable and taking steps toward becoming a better and more aware driver can protect you, your family, other vehicles, and pedestrians from an accident that could be fatal. The first thing that anyone should do upon entering a vehicle is to buckle up with a seatbelt. After all, 59% of accident victims were identified as not wearing a seatbelt or it was unknown, and something as simple as wearing a seatbelt could save one’s life. Another precaution to take before entering a roadway is to check and maintain your vehicle; low tire pressure and bad brakes, for example, could lead to vehicle failures on the road.
Laws protect and provide for our general safety, and alongside wearing a seatbelt and appropriately maintaining your vehicle, laws such as following the speed limit and “hands free” laws were designed to create safer driving conditions. Speeding is not worth the possible accident it could cause and creates a less controlled environment. Never follow a vehicle too closely; the vehicle in front might come to a stop and following too closely could result in a rear-end collision.
In 2018, Georgia lawmakers passed the Hands-Free Georgia Act, making it illegal to have a phone in hand while driving. Over the years, texting has especially contributed to traffic accidents, so this law should help decrease distracted driving. A general rule of thumb in terms of safe driving is to always keep your eyes on the road, being aware of your own driving and those driving around you.
Most importantly, never operate a vehicle while under the influence. If you choose to drink, ridesharing is a great way to arrive home safely. Even if not driving, other drivers may be intoxicated, especially during holidays or at night, so always drive alertly and defensively.
Following traffic laws, staying focused on the road, and routine vehicle maintenance will help make Georgia’s roadways safer. Remember, if an accident does occur, pull over to a safe place. After you’ve made sure that you’re okay, call the police. Then contact The Rhine Law Firm, LLC for help protecting your rights and interests.
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