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Georgia Highly Ranked in Fatal Auto Crash Costs

Being in the top five nationally of most lists might be a positive, unless the list has to do with Georgia or Atlanta area fatal car crashes. That is why as a Gwinnett County auto injury and wrongful death lawyer, I report with concern about a recent statistic that was published about fatal auto wrecks in Georgia.

Last month, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an analysis that found Georgia has the dubious distinction of ranking fourth in the nation for the costs of medical and work losses that result from fatal car crashes. The rankings were based on data from 2005, the most recent available.

The cost is a staggering $1.5 billion to victims and to their employers for medical and work losses. The total cost from the top 10 states alone was $41 billion in 2005.

Representing the families of victims of fatal auto crashes, I am all too aware of the cost to victims and their surviving family members. The basis for the high costs in Georgia is not specified. If you read our local newspapers or watch our local media news, you will likely be aware that many of our most-traveled highways, such as I-285, I-85 and I-75 and others surrounding the metro Atlanta area, can be dangerous places to travel.

The CDC Injury Center included some recommendations to lower these statistics nationally, including seat belt enforcement, child car safety policies, graduated drivers license programs that slowly increase teen driving privileges and universal motorcycle helmet laws.

These efforts can make a real difference. The use of motorcycle helmets is said to decrease brain injury by 69% and reduce the risk of death by one-third. The use of Graduated Driver Licensing programs have already been instituted in some states and have been reported to reduce teen crashes by 40 percent for drivers who are 16 years of age.


Charles Scholle is a Gwinnett County wrongful death and accident lawyer, serving the surrounding area, including Dekalb, Duluth, Buford and all other cities and counties. His firm is available for a free consultation to help families deal with the tragedy of fatal crashes involving family members. Please contact our law firm at any time, we focus entirely on helping clients recover from personal injuries of all kinds and represent grieving families when a fatality occurs. We have offices in several locations around the Atlanta area, including Buckhead, Decatur and the Perimeter.

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