The State of Georgia is known for many wonderful things, including its peaches and diverse musical heritage. Unfortunately, it’s also becoming known for something far less positive, and that’s the sharp increase in fatal car accidents on its roads, reports 13WMAZ News.
In 2017 alone, the Georgia Department of Transportation logged 1,534 traffic fatalities. That’s an increase of 33 percent over the last two tears, and it also equates to four people dying in car crashes each day.
This uptick has many people rattled as so many residents know someone who has been involved in a serious traffic accident in the state. Georgian Katie Foskey, for example, is just 18 years old, but she says she is always on full alert when she gets behind the wheel, and she’s not just watching out for herself but everyone else, too. The young woman added that she sees a lot of distracted drivers, with people driving too slowly, eating, texting or using the phone in other ways while they are driving. The 18-year-old’s father nearly lost his arm in a motorcycle accident, which is why Foskey no longer takes any chances. The teenager said that people simply don’t take the dangers of driving distracted seriously enough, and that needs to stop.
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Kyle Collins, who is with the state’s transportation department, says that the Peach State is now tracking ahead of the national average for deaths on the roadways. Collins said it’s difficult enough when one life is lost in a traffic accident, let alone the more than 1,500 deaths the state saw over the last year. According to Collins, distracted driving is too blame for most of those 1,534 deaths.
Georgia’s Department of Transportation reports that 60 percent of the fatalities involved a single car crash or failure of the vehicle to stay in its lane. In more than half of those fatal accidents, people were not wearing a seat belt. The state has set itself a goal of reducing traffic deaths by at least 41 each year. Part of its strategy to reach this objective is the “Drive Alert Arrive Alive” program, which is aimed at educating younger drivers and drivers of all ages about the dangers of driving while distracted.
John Carson, a state representative, also recently introduced a new bill that would give Georgia a hands-free driving law, although it does still allow drivers to tap or swipe their screens to answer calls. If the new bill passes, the fine for using a phone while driving would increase from $150 to at least $350 for first-time offenders.
As technology becomes a bigger part of people’s everyday lives, it also creates more things for drivers to be distracted by while on the road. Distracted drivers can and do pose an incredible risk to themselves and those who are around them. If you have been injured because of a person who was driving while not focusing on the road, speak to an auto accident attorney about your case as soon as you can.
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