Close to 600 auto accidents in Gwinnett County, Georgia, last week were blamed on hazardous road conditions caused by icy roads. These accidents included a 15-car pileup on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard. Fortunately, none of these auto accidents ended in fatalities.
However, according to police, at least nine accidents resulted in occupants becoming trapped in their vehicles. They were 27 hit-and-run accidents reported. There was also at least one pedestrian accident that ended with injuries. In Cherokee County alone, police handled more than 300 accident cases. Meanwhile, in the metro Atlanta area, roadways were shut down, and schools were closed as a precautionary measure.
The hazardous road conditions were created after a mass of Arctic air collided with the moist air, creating a thin coating of ice on the roadways. Emergency rescue departments in Gwinnett County found themselves overwhelmed with thousands of calls for rescue, not just from accident victims, but also calls related to structure and wood fires.
The icy spell also hit Missouri and Alabama, and there have been at least three accident fatalities in Alabama. Fortunately, this spell of poor weather in Georgia has resulted in no deaths.
The poor driving conditions have also resulted in a torrent of criticism against the Department of Transportation. One of the main points of criticism is that GDOT crews delayed salting of the roads. Earlier action by the GDOT could have removed some of the slippery ice, thereby preventing many of the accidents. By the time GDOT crews got to work, however, cars were already slipping and skidding off the roads. In the opinion of Atlanta car accident lawyers the GDOT should have been better prepared to handle dangerous roadway conditions during suddenly icy weather, just as it was during this time last year.