The state of Georgia ranks at number 32 in a USA Today compilation of states based on auto accident death rate per 100,000 population. In 2009, 1,284 people died in car accidents in Georgia, and the state had a death rate per 100,000 population of 13.1. That is much above the national average of 11 per 100,000 population. Of course, a significant number of deaths generally occur in urban areas such as Atlanta, Georgia.
Georgia and other states like Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Delaware with strong rural neighborhoods seem to have high death rates in car accidents. The reason for this, according to the USA Today report, could be the fact that many of the states with significant numbers of wrongful deaths due to car accidents have large rural communities.
Most of the traffic in rural communities plies on two-lane roads. These roads typically tend to be poorly designed, and lack the safety enhancements and engineering that make urban roads safer. It’s no coincidence that the states that have featured at the top of the list (ie: least deaths), like Washington DC and Massachusetts have more urban roads.
It’s not just bad roads in rural communities in Georgia that increase the auto accident wrongful death rate. It’s also the fact that these roads see more numbers of drunk drivers. Part of the reason is that the Georgia Highway Patrol conducts fewer crackdowns in rural communities because of strained resources. There are only so many officers that the Highway Patrol can dedicate toanti-drunk driving crackdowns, seatbelt campaigns and other initiatives that promote safety. Fewer officers are posted in rural areas, leading to more numbers of drunk driving accidents, and preventable deaths from failure to wear seat belts.
Besides, Atlanta car accident attorneys believe that the high death rate in rural areas across Georgia is due to the paucity of trauma care facilities. The average accident victim a few hundred miles from Atlanta may have little chance of surviving an accident simply because he cannot be brought to a trauma care center in time.