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Every year, hundreds of motorists and construction workers in Georgia are injured in accidents in highway work zones. To raise awareness about the important of safety in these zones, the Georgia Department of Transportation recently launched a special awareness and education campaign.

The campaign is called Drive Like You Work Here, and it aims to raise awareness about the special dangers construction workers face while working in highway work zones.  These construction workers provide a vital service to the nation, namely by helping with infrastructure development projects that are oftentimes the lifeblood of our state’s economy. However, they are also frequently at risk from motorists who fail to understand the need to pay special attention they drive through these congested work zones.

It is not just construction workers who are at risk when motorists drive through these highway work zones without paying attention, but the motorists themselves are also at risk for serious injury when they are inattentive or speed through a zone. In the year 2018 alone, there were 52 accident related fatalities in work zones in Georgia.  These fatalities were all members of the public, meaning none of the fatalities involved a construction worker.

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The number of pedestrians has been increasing all throughout Georgia as more people choose to walk for health or recreational reasons. The City of Atlanta has especially taken extra efforts to become a more walker friendly town.  Therefore, as a pedestrian, you should be aware of the protections and rights afforded to you under Georgia laws. Learning about these laws will help you obey traffic rules as well as keep you safe.

First of all, pedestrians have the right of way on a marked crosswalk in Georgia. If you are already waking on the crosswalk, then all motorists must stop and yield to you. The law requires a motorist to stop and remain stopped while the pedestrian is crossing the road.  The motorist can only resume driving when the pedestrian has safely completed crossing. That means that a motorist can’t try to squeeze by you, or barely give you any room to squeeze by them while they are on the road.

However, the picture becomes different when you are crossing the road outside of a designated crosswalk. Now, it’s the motorist’s rights that take precedence, and you must yield to motorists who are driving. You, as a pedestrian, also have the duty to look in both directions to first make sure that the street is safe to cross – a lesson that we all learned as children.  This doesn’t mean that a motorist can continue to speed towards you though.  A driver still has the duty to avoid hitting a pedestrian if he or she is already in the process of crossing the street.   A driver also must anticipate that a pedestrian could attempt to cross the street at any point, and has the duty to warn a pedestrian of their approach by honking the horn or give some other type of warning.

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Claims based on negligent security, which can arise after a person has suffered an assault, rape or other violent incident on another’s property, can be complicated to file.

A claim for negligent security is filed when a person has been injured on another person’s premises as the result of inadequate security. Examples of negligent security could be the failure to provide adequate illumination or security in vacant areas such as parking lots, failure to provide adequate security or protection to attendees at a concert or other event, and other incidents in which there are injuries caused as a result of the failure of the property owner to provide safe and secure premises.

In a claim based on negligent security, the property owner is considered liable if the injured party can prove that the property owner’s failure to provide adequate security at the premises led to a violent assault, attack, rape or any other incident that endangered the safety of the victim or the person bringing the claim.

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There is never a shortage of tractor trailers or commercial trucks on Georgia roads.  This seems especially true during rush hour in metro Atlanta.  Trying to manuever around a large commercial truck or 18-wheeler can be challenging, to say the least. One of the main reasons why driving around a large truck is tricky is due to the fact that the truck driver may not always see your car, which makes the chances of a being in an accident that much greater.   More often than not, when a passenger vehicle is hit in an accident by a large commercial truck, the resulting injuries can be very severe.

Here are some tips on what you should always keep in mind when driving around a large commercial truck or tractor trailer.

Do not come to a sudden stop in front of the truck.  These trucks have a much larger stopping distance. This means that it takes them much longer to come to a complete stop after the driver applies the brakes. If you are driving in front of a tractor trailer, braking suddenly can mean that the truck may crash right into your car with devastating consequences.

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The opioid overdose epidemic has been a top-priority for safety advocates as well as federal agencies for several years now. However, a little-known fact that has not garnered as much press is that opioid use has also contributed to an increase in the number of car accidents linked to drivers who were driving while under the influence of these painkillers.

A dependence on opioid medications or painkillers like Oxycontin has been blamed for a nationwide crisis that has raged unabated. In 2017 alone, 47,000 Americans died as the result of an opioid overdose. Deaths from opioid overdoses increased 14% nationwide in that year.  In Georgia, however, opioid deaths increased over 16% in 2017.  And to make it more a part of the daily conversation, social media has been awash with images and videos of addicts passed out or dead in their cars, sidewalks and commercial spaces.

Now, researchers at the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University Medical Center say that there is ample evidence that opioid painkillers and drivers high under the influence of medications like Oxycontin are also causing an increasing number of car accidents. Their conclusions are based on results from a study that was conducted on 18,000 drivers involved in fatal accidents between 1993 and 2016. According to the researchers, the number of fatal car accidents involving drivers under the influence of opioid painkillers actually tripled over this 25-year period.

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Atlanta recently received the dubious honor of being ranked 4th in the nation for having the most aggressive drivers, according to GasBuddy.  Aggressive driving involves hard braking, swerving, but most often speeding.  Accidents caused by speeding kill more people than any other accident factor, including drunk driving or distracted driving.

Speeding accounts for at least one-third of all traffic fatalities every year, and has continued to be the single biggest factor contributing to crashes over the past two decades. In 2017, the last year for which conclusive data is available, speeding caused 27 percent of all traffic fatalities.

Speeding is a major traffic safety issue primarily because of the tremendous impact that results in an accident caused by speeding, compared to a moderate-speed accident. There are a number of other safety concerns associated with speeding. For example, data shows that motorists who are more prone to drive at high speeds are prone to other risk factors such as a failure to wear seatbelts. In 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 49 percent of all people who died in speeding-related accidents were unrestrained at the time of the crash, compared to 21 percent of motorists who were not in high-speed accidents.

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Although spring typically isn’t known as a particularly busy time of the year for boating, there are still many boating enthusiasts who love the crisp air and the unique joy of boating during spring time. Boating during spring is exhilarating. It is also the ideal time to brush up on your boating skills, and make sure that your boat is in the right shape and tuned up not just for spring, but also for the more hectic summer boating season ahead.  This way you, and others around you, will be sure to be safe whether you’re boating on Lake Lanier, the Chattahoochee River, or any other body of water in the North Georgia area.

Across the country, the Coast Guard estimates that as many as 80 recent of all boating accidents, caused by user error, involved boaters who had never undergone a boating education program. Learning how to operate and handle your boat is a must whether you plan on boating regularly or just a few times a year.  Just as you would never dream of driving your car on the highway without knowing the basics of driving, learning the essentials of boating technique is also necessary to ensure not only your safety but also those around you on the water.  However, a surprisingly large number of boaters every year see no problem in taking to the lakes and rivers across Georgia in boats without even a single hour of training or education.   Operating a boat can be as, or even more, challenging than driving a motor vehicle. In fact, an untrained boater may be at an even higher risk of causing an accident than a motorist because of the special challenges posed by water currents, weather and other factors that are beyond the control of the boater. Not only can boating accidents cause severe injuries, they can also be fatal when the victim’s injuries disable them to the point where they cannot swim in the water and drown as a result.

To help reduce the number of boating accidents, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators conducts a special campaign every year to encourage boaters to focus on safety during the spring months. This year, the special program will be kicked off during the week from March 17 to March 23.

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Pedestrian safety statistics in the United States are have been pretty grim lately. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that in 2016, there was a pedestrian accident fatality every 1.5 hours in the United States.  Even more alarming, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) found that the number of pedestrian deaths in 2018 were at a 28-year high.

Georgia was one of five states that accounted for almost half of the number of pedestrian deaths just in the first six months of 2018.  In the Atlanta area, pedestrian deaths were also on the rise, especially in 2017, with an alarming number pedestrian accidents occurring on highways.

A recent report by the GHSA found that pedestrian deaths were higher among certain groups including the poor, people of color, and those without health insurance, as these groups were more likely to live in areas that have fewer sidewalks and are otherwise more dangerous for pedestrians.  The GHSA also found that, the elderly and children were especially vulnerable to being struck as a pedestrian.

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The ways in which a motorcyclist can be injured while riding on the streets of Atlanta is numerous.  But one accident scenario that carries the most serious risk of leaving a motorcyclist with devastating injuries is when a motorcycle crashes into a car making a left turn.

According to estimates, as many as 40 percent of all motorcycle accidents involve a car making a left turn in front of the motorcycle or at an intersection. Many of these situations involve car drivers who incorrectly gauge the distance between their vehicle and the motorcycle.  When this happens, it usually results in the motorcycle crashing into the car, often at high speeds.  In other cases, the car driver may be distracted and fail to notice the motorcyclist pulling up alongside them.

Often, these accidents occur at intersections when the motorcycle is riding straight and a car driver suddenly makes a left turn in front of him.  There are many dangerous intersections located throughout the metro Atlanta area, thereby setting the scene for these types of accidents for countless motorcycle riders.  The impact of an accident like this can be devastating, and the motorcyclist may be at risk of sustaining injuries that include brain injuries, spinal injuries, fractures, major or severe cuts and lacerations, facial injuries and other serious injuries. Some of these injuries can leave a motorcyclist with possibly long-term damage, reducing his ability to lead a normal, productive life.

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Falls are a major cause of unintentional injuries around the global and the World Health Organization classifies falls as the second leading cause of such injuries and deaths every year. Every year, as many as 640,000 persons worldwide suffer a fall accident that leaves them with serious or fatal injuries, and seniors above the age of 65 form a sizable chunk of this group.  In the U.S., 2.8 million people are treated in the emergency room or hospitalized for fall related injuries.

Many times, a fall accident can be the result of property that has been poorly or negligently maintained.  In Georgia, business owners have a duty to keep their property safe and free of dangers, or warn of dangers, that could cause injury to their guests.  If a guest on their property trips and falls, or slips and falls, and gets injured because of their failure to maintain the property, they can be held liable for compensating the party that suffered personal injuries.

A fall accident can result in a number of injuries, many of which can be serious. Here is a look at some of the most common injuries that occur as a result of slip and fall accidents.