Calendar year 2015 did not provide great news for motorists in Georgia. Not only was there a spike in the total number of people killed in car accidents across the state last year, but there also appears to be a rise in the number of people killed in alcohol-related car accidents.
The rise in Georgia’s car accident fatalities numbers is concerning. After declines were reported for close to nine consecutive years, traffic accident death numbers actually increased in 2015. In 2015, more than 1,300 people died in car accidents, and at least 25 % of those fatalities are estimated to have involved an impaired motorist.
The 25% number has not been confirmed yet, because the final numbers are still being compiled. Exact details about the alcohol percentage in each of these fatalities is not yet known, but based on past data, it’s quite reasonable to believe that the 2015 numbers involving drunk driving was very high. According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that two years ago, 27% all traffic accident fatalities were directly linked to intoxicated motorists. It can take months for lab results to arrive and be verified, and final statistics for 2015 will not be confirmed until months from now. However, all initial indicators point to an increase in the number of people killed as a direct result of being involved in an accident with an intoxicated motorist.
The concerns over an increase in drunk driving were serious enough for Georgia Highway Traffic Administration to launch new public service announcements on television reinforcing the dangers of drunk drinking. Those public service announcements began to air over the Christmas holiday season, which also happens to be one of the most dangerous times of the year to drive. The public service announcements featured Governor Nathan Deal, who specifically warned motorists against getting into a car if they had been drinking. Every year, hundreds of people are injured in accidents, many of them ending in serious injuries and many occurring during the Christmas and New Year holidays.