As we begin the new year, Georgians are looking towards a vibrant 2016. We have wound up the 2015 holiday season with friends and family. But looking back at the last year, we have some sobering news. Fatal traffic accidents in Georgia rose in 2015 for the first time since 2006. The Department of Transportation’s website calls the increase “startling” and has partnered with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the Department of Public Safety to launch a campaign called DriveAlert ArriveAlive (DAAA) to focus on the issue. The hope is that educating the public and bringing attention to safety measures we all can take, will reverse this unfortunate trend. The reports indicate that, until this year, Georgia enjoyed a stabilization of the fatal accident rate in prior years.
The most likely culprit for the rise in Georgia’s fatal accidents, might well be something we have posted about in the past — single-vehicle crashes. The increase in these tragic Georgia vehicle crashes includes road departures of various kinds. Drivers involved in these crashes are often not wearing a seatbelt, are fatigued, are driving distracted or are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The DriveAlertArriveAlive program is directed at these very important causes, as well as other concerns about safe driving.
This upsetting trend is also occurring across the country. In the first six months of 2015, there was nearly a 15% rise in traffic fatalities. Part of the reason for the national trend is said to be a better economy and lower fuel prices. Other factors for this dramatic increase include distracted driving which is now taking its toll. The good news is that some accident risk factors are improving. Fatal accidents caused by failure to use seat belts are actually on the downswing, as are fatal accidents involving teens and drunk driving.
Not surprisingly, the behavior on the rise is the use of technology while driving. The National Safety Council reports that about 25 percent of all vehicle crashes now involve the use of cell phones. Using a cell phone or texting while driving continue to be major safety issues. Even in states in which this behavior is against the law, drivers continue to defy the safety statistics and engage in this activity while driving. Unfortunately, the dangers of use of phone or texting while driving, will likely to continue to be a factor in the upcoming year’s statistics.
Scholle Law is dedicated to helping those injured or harmed in a motor vehicle crash. We help families whose loved ones have been involved in fatal accidents and have expertise in the area of wrongful death actions. If you need legal support, please contact us. Our consultations are free of charge.