Articles Posted in Car Accidents

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It is no secret that pedestrian fatality numbers in the state are on the rise. According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, in 2017 alone 1,454 pedestrians died in accidents across the Georgia.

As the number of pedestrian accidents in Georgia continues to increase every year at least one community is taking firm steps to reduce those deadly statistics. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety recently lauded the community of Macon for the steps that the city is taking to reduce pedestrian fatalities. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety recently announced a grant of $20,785 to the city of Macon and its On the Move campaign.

The city of Macon has seen more than its share of pedestrian accident fatalities.  In fact, it was recently ranked second in Georgia in the number of pedestrian fatalities per capita. In response to those alarming statistics, the city’s administrators have put their heads together to announce a new initiative. The Macon Commissioner recently formed the Macon-Bibb Pedestrian Safety Review Board to analyze pedestrian accident fatalities across the community. One of the Board’s first initiatives is the Cross the Walk campaign. The campaign is designed to inform and educate people about safe and responsible ways of crossing the street.

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Climate change has been in the news for years now regarding its effects on weather related tragedies.  From eroding coastlines, rising poverty levels and soaring temperatures -climate change is blamed for an entire range of global disasters. Every region on the globe, including Georgia, has seen dramatic shifts in its weather.  However, could these changes in weather also be linked to increasing highway accident fatality numbers?

It appears that they could. Traffic safety experts have been trying to understand why road accident fatality numbers have been increasing since 2015, after several decades of a downward trend in fatality numbers. Earlier, safety experts focused on increasing rates of cell phone use by motorists as the leading factor causing this increase. However, they were later able to debunk that theory because there was no increase in smartphone use during the period of time that they studied.  They then changed their focus to another possible factor-the weather.

Temperature increases are likely to be at least partly the reason why we are seeing an increase in the number of people dying in traffic accidents. Warmer weather simply means more people out on the road. People drive, walk, bicycle and ride their motorcycles more in warmer weather, than in wet or snowy weather. The experts found in their analysis that pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists –   people who are much more likely to be out walking, riding or bicycling during warmer weather – accounted for a large percentage of traffic accident fatality fatalities during the study period.

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According to the most recent statistics, more than 100 million Americans suffer from diabetes or have pre-diabetes.   In Georgia, almost 1.2 million people suffer from diabetes, and an estimated 241,000 have diabetes but don’t even know it.

Suffering from diabetes can place a driver at risk for certain symptoms that can increase their chances of being in an accident.  A person who suffers from diabetes may suffer from sudden low levels of blood sugar that can cause symptoms such as disorientation and confusion. This could trigger a potentially devastating medical emergency at the wheel.

Clearly, there are many motorists in who are driving under the ever-present risk of having a medical emergency at the wheel.   Persons who suffer from diabetes may continue to drive, but it is important for them to understand if their symptoms are so severe that it could impact their safety and increase their accident risk. No one suggests that diabetics avoid driving. However, as with several other medical conditions, it is important for you to know if your symptoms are so severe that they could possibly cause you to black out or become disoriented.

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As you’re making plans to ring in the New Year, make sure you are not unwittingly breaking Georgia laws if you are hosting a New Year’s Eve party this year.

While you want your guests to enjoy your event, if you are planning on serving alcohol, you should be aware of the fact that you could be held accountable for your guests’ actions after they have had a few drinks at your party. That accountability is outlined under Georgia’s dram shop and social host liability laws.

Under Georgia law, a social host, or a person who hosts an event or a party, may be held liable for any injuries caused by persons who have consumed alcohol served by the host. In other words, you could be held accountable for serving alcohol to a person who leaves your event and causes an accident that results in injuries.

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Lawmakers in Georgia are looking closer at steps that can be taken to strengthen the state’s laws targeting distracted driving in order to reduce the number of accidents involving electronic distractions.

In 2016, there were more than 1,500 fatalities on Georgia highways, a one-third increase from 2015.   It’s not clear how many of those fatalities were directly linked to the use of electronic devices while driving. However, it is very likely that the overall national increase in traffic accident fatalities is directly linked to more motorists using cell phones and texting while driving.

In fact, statistics show that just in last year alone, the Georgia Department of Driver Services issued more than 3,800 citations to motorists who were found using phones while driving. That was an increase of more than 30% from 2015.

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Everyone knows of the dangers of using a cell phone while driving, but there is yet another driving distraction that most people in Georgia are not aware of – daydreaming.

Most of us would not consider daydreaming to be a dangerous activity.  However, driving while daydreaming significantly increases your risk of being involved in an accident.  In fact, driving while daydreaming is one of the leading causes of accidents.  Unfortunately, most people may not even realize the dangers associated with driving while daydreaming since it is something most of us do at the wheel at one point or another.

New research shows that most people are likely to daydream when they are behind the wheel, especially when driving familiar routes.   In a recent study, participants submitted to a driving simulation and had their brain activity analyzed during the simulation.  The researchers found that people’s minds were more likely to wander, i.e. daydream, when they were involved in a routine driving activity such as driving the same route several times as opposed to driving in unfamiliar settings.  The daydreaming occurred more than 70% of the time during the study.  Even more concerning was the finding that the participants were only aware that they were distracted approximately 65% of the time.

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August marks the 20th anniversary of the tragic death of Princess Diana. What many people are not aware of, however, is how Di’s tragic death in a Paris tunnel in 1997 significantly changed the driving landscape in France, and significantly reduced the number of car accidents.

After the accident in a Paris tunnel in 1997, French investigators came to the conclusion that the accident was the result of unsafe and dangerous driving practices. In 2002, the French government signed a number of new laws that were specifically designed to help reduce the incidence of unsafe driving. As a result of those laws, traffic accident fatalities in the country actually dropped by as much as one-third. This is a substantial reduction. According to Statista, the United States had 6.3 million car accidents in 2015. Therefore, if the United States was able to achieve a similar outcome, this would result in 2.1 million fewer car accidents each year.

In the new study, researchers claim that France’s decision to enact traffic safety laws in the aftermath of the tragic and high-profile death significantly improved traffic safety in that country, and may have helped save many lives. In fact, the study suggests that thousands of French lives could possibly have been saved as a result of these legal changes that were enacted. French road fatalities in the decades after the fatal crash fell by as much as 30% on an average, compared with an average of 15% in the United States.

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A safety group is questioning whether a proposed transportation safety project that would add several new miles of truck-only lanes on I-75 in Georgia has been well thought-out and could pose safety risks.

The two billion-dollar transportation project would add as many as 40 miles of trucks-only lanes between Macon and McDonough, and now it appears that the project was given the green light without a proper audit of whether is necessary or feasible. Earlier, an audit by the Georgia Department of Audits questioned the feasibility and viability of the project, and especially the wisdom involved in allowing such lanes. No other project in the United States has involved the installation of so many truck-only lanes, and according to the Georgia Department of Audits, the Department of Transportation green-lighted the project without sufficient evidence that the $2 billion price tag was a justified investment.

Now the United States Public Interest Research Group is also questioning the advisability of having so many truck-only lanes. The group has listed the project as one of the nation’s biggest highway boondoggles – and one that includes a massive waste of public time and money. Public Interest Research Group in its report is also criticizing governments across the United States for their propensity to rush into major transportation projects without bothering to fix a massive backlog of highway repair and other safety issues. In the case of the I-75 project, Public Interest Research Group says that the benefits to the trucking industry have been prioritized over recommendations to use railroads for movement of freight.

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US employers incur billions of dollars in accident-related expenses involving employees in crashes every year. Investing in roadway safety campaigns can actually help these companies save money.

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety is an organization that focuses on educating companies about the need to inculcate safe driving practices among their employees. The list of employees who may need to drive for work-related purposes is very long. In far too many of these cases, employees are involved in accidents while they are on duty, exposing their employers to the risk of liability.

However, employers may suffer expenses when employees are involved in off-duty accidents too. According to a report released by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety, in 2013, American employers suffered more than $47 billion in direct expenses related to accidents involving their employees. More than 1.26 million work hours were lost as a result of these accidents, and 90% of those involved off-duty accidents.

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Cities that choose to shut down their red light camera programs may see a spike in the number of people killed in traffic fatalities caused by red light violations.

According to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, red light camera programs in several large American cities were responsible for saving as many as 1,300 lives in accidents through 2014. Shutting down these programs cost American lives, with fatality rates shooting up as much as 30% in cities that have chosen to shut down red light camera programs. In 2014, according to data, red light violations caused more than 700 fatalities and over 126,000 injuries.

Red light camera programs not only reduce the risk of violations, but also lead to greater adherence to the rules and fewer violations, leading to a lower risk of accidents when programs like these are publicized. In addition, when red light camera programs are in place, violators can be apprehended easily.  Unfortunately, even though the benefits of red light camera programs are easy to see, they have been met with opposition by local communities. That has led to many of these programs being shut down in several cities across the country. The total number of communities with red light camera programs in the country fell in 2014 to a total of 467, from a high of 533 in the year 2012.