Stone Mountain Woman Killed in Accident in Gwinnett County
A woman was killed in a head-on accident over the weekend near Lilburn in Gwinnett County. According to news reports, the woman was driving a Ford Escort, when she crossed a center line, and rammed into an oncoming Chevrolet. The woman, who has been identified as Maureen Kalkstein was rushed to the hospital, but was declared dead.
According to Gwinnett County police, Kalkstein was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident. In 2009 alone, Gwinnett County has seen 37 people dying in accidents. Out of those, 6 involved motorcyclists and pedestrians. The remaining 31 people were killed in auto accidents, and out of these, 14 were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.
The accident places focus on seatbelt safety in Georgia. Under Georgia laws, all motorists above the age of18, and front seat passengers must buckle up. However, the laws are not applicable to pickup truck drivers. We continue to be the only state in the country that does not mandate seatbelt use for pick up drivers. The laws were formulated out of concern that mandatory seatbelt usage could cause inconvenience to people in rural areas, like farmers. However, lack of mandatory sat belt laws for pickup truck drivers has resulted in low rates of seatbelt use by these drivers. Consequently, there are increased fatality rates for drivers of pickup trucks when they’re involved in accidents.
Because of these laws, Georgia has missed out on federal funding that is provided only to states that have mandatory seatbelt laws for all. Earlier this year, a bill to get pickup truck drivers to buckle up, was rejected by a house panel. The rejection of the bill came even after legislators saw evidence and heard testimony that mandatory seatbelt laws could save dozens of pickup drivers, and prevent hundreds of injuries every year. Experts estimated that these deaths and injuries could save the state an approximate $62 million in accident costs every year. It would have also made Georgia eligible for a $4 million federal highway grant, which we’ve lost out on for years now.
The Gwinnett County personal injury lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent injured victims of car accidents in Gwinnett, DeKalb, Cobb and Clayton Counties, and across Georgia.