Preliminary figures show that there was a significant increase in traffic accident facilities in Georgia in 2020, despite the pandemic and stay-at-home orders. In fact, according to the study, the numbers may be the highest on record since 2007.
The preliminary figures released by the Georgia Governor’s office of Highway Safety showed that there were 1,615 traffic accident deaths in the state of Georgia in 2020. That was the highest total on record since 2007, when there were 1,641 facilities recorded. It was also a significant increase from the figures in 2019 when the state recorded a total of 1,491 deaths in traffic accidents.
It’s important to remember that these are preliminary figures, and the total numbers are very likely to increase as the agency continues to confirm the number of traffic accident deaths across the state last year. The majority of accident deaths in 2020 occurred on state roads and highways.
The authorities have not yet released the breakdown of fatalities by cause of accident, age of victims, and other factors. However, 2020 seems to have been an extremely dangerous year for pedestrians. The number of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents increased by a staggering 400% in 2020. There were 12 pedestrian deaths that occurred in 2020 in the entire state of Georgia, compared to just 3 fatalities the previous year.
According to George law enforcement agencies, it’s hard to determine exactly why the number of deaths increased last year. One possible explanation is there were fewer law enforcement officers on the streets, enforcing important laws. The pandemic resulted in fewer police officers being stationed to enforce important traffic safety laws including those related to speeding and drunk driving – two of the biggest contributors to deaths in accidents every year. Many counties outright told police officers not to make traffic stops as the pandemic spread. As a result, many cases of speeding and drunk driving went undetected, resulting in accidents. Laws governing seat belt use also went unenforced in far too many cases, and not surprisingly, more than half the victims of traffic accidents in 2020 were not wearing a seat belt at the time.
As Atlanta residents travel more in the post Covid-19 era, and with reduced restrictions in place, it is important to understand that traffic safety rules need to be strictly followed even during a pandemic. Wear your seatbelt and always drive at safe speeds. Never drive after drinking, and never drive in a fatigued state. And always, avoid using your cell phone while driving.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a traffic accident caused by another motorist’s negligence, you may be eligible for a claim for compensation for all your losses. Talk to an Atlanta car accident lawyer at the Katz Law Firm, and determine if you are eligible for a claim for damages. You might be eligible for compensation that includes medical expenses and several other types of compensation. Talk to an attorney at our firm, and discuss your case. Initial consultations are free.