The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is starting out the new year by working to combat the crisis of fatalities on our roads. The latest available data shows that nearly 2,000 people were killed in crashes in 2022. That averages out to about five people every day.
There’s been an overall upward trend in fatal crashes and in pedestrian fatalities. Nearly all of these fatalities are preventable in one way or another.
What has been learned about recent fatal crashes?
Let’s look at a few things that GDOT discovered in its study of 2022 crashes:
- Over 60% of those who were killed either weren’t wearing a seatbelt or police couldn’t tell whether they were or not.
- In nearly half (45%), the driver was either determined to be or suspected of being distracted.
- About 20% of the deaths were in a collision involving an aggressive driver.
- Approximately 18% of the fatalities involved suspected alcohol and/or drug impairment.
- Some 17% of those killed were pedestrians.
Of course, Georgia is far from alone when it comes to risky behavior on the roads. An official with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) says, “There’s a traffic safety crisis in the United States. We must do more of everything that works to better protect everyone on the road, both inside and outside a vehicle.” The head of the GHSA notes, “The saddest part is that these crashes are preventable.”
What can the state do?
Georgia health and safety agencies are using money provided in federal grants to implement measures they hope will lower these numbers. This includes:
- Distributing child safety seats
- Providing more safety education for older drivers
- Putting more crash investigators in the field
Of course, ultimately, it’s up to drivers to eliminate risky behaviors like distracted driving, speeding, driving under the influence and making sure that everyone in their vehicle is securely buckled in.
Unfortunately, we often aren’t aware of a dangerous driver until it’s too late. If you’ve suffered injuries in a crash, it’s crucial to get the compensation to which you’re entitled for medical costs and other expenses and damages. Don’t agree to a settlement until you’ve sought legal guidance.