Articles Tagged with Speeding related accidents

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Georgia recorded a staggering 45% increase in pedestrian wrongful deaths in car accidents  between 2019 and 2021. The state is one of the worst performing ones when it comes to controlling these fatality numbers.

Latest data by the Governors Highway Safety Association  shows a dramatic increase in the number of  pedestrian  fatalities recorded in Georgia between 2019 and 2020.  The  increase was approximately 45.6% or an increase of 106 fatalities in pedestrian auto accidents between 2019 and 2021.  In  2019, there were 239 pedestrian car accidents wrongful deaths in Georgia, and that number increased to 348 fatalities in 2021. That was a significant increase in 2021,  compared to 2019.

In 2020, Georgia recorded 281 deaths  in  pedestrian car accidents,  an increase of 67 from 2019,  and a percentage point increase of 23.8 percent.  The state performs poorly on a number of parameters.  Georgia’s tally of pedestrian wrongful deaths in 2021  was the third highest increase in pedestrian car accident death numbers.  Georgia had a rate of 2.62 deaths for every 100,000 pedestrians in 2020 and a rate of 3.22 deaths for every 100,000 pedestrians in 2021.

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There is a silent killer on our streets, and unfortunately, it receives very little attention. Speeding–related accident deaths in the United States are on the increase and fast rising. This is in sharp contrast to other countries in the European Union, for instance, where speeding-related traffic fatality rates have actually been falling.

There has been plenty of discussion about the increase in traffic accident fatalities in this country in 2020, in spite of the fact that there were fewer vehicle miles travelled that year. There is a long history in this nation of attempts to curb speeding, but it took the pandemic to bring speeding to the forefront of the national traffic safety discourse. Most developed countries, including those in the European Union, have actually seen their traffic accident fatality rates drop significantly in recent years, and they have their regulations against speeding to thank for it.  In the United States, the exact opposite has happened, and we can look to the changes in how regulators in the United States view speeding to understand the reasons for this.

The European Union and the United Kingdom have mandated that by the year 2022, all new automobiles sold in these countries must come with speed limiters. The mandate also requires that cars come with intelligent speed assistance technology which restricts the speed of a car based on existing GPS data and external speed limit signs, by 2024. Drivers can override the technology if they choose to. However, the mandate requires that the data be stored in black box data recorders that can then be investigated in the event of an accident. Regulators in these countries believe that these rules will lead to a reduction in traffic accident fatalities by as much as 20%.

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The head of the National Transportation Safety Board says that focusing only on individual driver behavior or actions may not be sufficient to helping reduce the number of people killed in traffic accidents in Georgia and across the United States every year.   She instead is calling for an approach that takes into account all of the different factors that contribute to the various driver behaviors resulting in accidents.

The National Transportation Safety Board is primarily an investigative authority which conducts investigations into air, road, land, and water accidents that involve mass fatalities or casualties. The Board advises or provides recommendations based on those investigations, and is not a regulatory authority. It cannot pass regulations based on its own recommendations. However, the Board’s recommendations are taken very seriously by state administrations, especially those that are looking at making their roads safer.

Jennifer Homendy, the head of the National Transportation Safety Board, was speaking in remarks to a conference of the Governors Highway Safety Association, and says that an overall approach to increasing traffic safety must take into consideration the fact that so many states have enforced higher speed limits than recommended. Speeding, for instance, continues to be a major killer on American roads, and we must evaluate whether the systems in place to date actually encourages drivers to speed. She points to states that have prohibited local authorities from setting their own lower speed limits for motorists. She also points to the responsibility of manufacturers who frequently design automobiles that are made to travel at more than 100 mph, or sell cars that have no installed speed limiters to prevent excessive speeds. Road design that encourages speeding could be just as much to blame as individuals who take advantage of these roads that are built for excessive speeds.

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Summer is peak travel season in Atlanta, and also, unfortunately, one of the more accident – prone times of the year. Did you know that your accident risk spikes significantly over the next few weeks because of the following five factors?

Speeding is a major cause of accidents during summer. People travel more during summer, and unfortunately many of them underestimate travel times and leave their homes far too late to reach their destinations on time, which explains why so many drivers speeds on Atlanta streets during summer. Leave your home with plenty of time to reach your destination to avoid the need to rush and drive at high speeds.

Congested roads are a common scene during summer. You are sharing the roads with a greater number of motorists than during other times of the year, and this is something that you must factor in when you make your travel plans. Expect traffic jams and delays, and leave home with plenty of time to spare. With more vehicles on the road, the chances of an accident are exponentially greater.

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Concerned at the increase in the number of auto accidents caused by speeding motorists, a coalition of safety groups has launched two new pilot projects in two separate states aimed at designing strategies to prevent these devastating crashes.

The coalition consisting of the Governors Highway Safety Association, the National Safety Foundation and the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety are funding two  separate pilot projects to study ways to reduce the impact of high speeds on motorist safety.  The two states are being granted $100,000 each to design and develop speed management strategies to prevent these crashes. The programs are meant to focus on a combination of engineering design and enhancements and  infrastructure improvements, as well as other proven methods of reducing speeding- related accidents, including education and awareness as well as public outreach. One state is expected to implement the program in a rural setting, while the other will implement the program in an urban area. The goal of the initiative is to design appropriate speed management strategies that can help reduce the impact of speed on highway safety.

Speed has always been a harmful factor in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region.  Unfortunately, over the past year, the role of speeding related car accidents that resulted in fatalities has actually increased. Approximately, nine thousand people die annually in accidents caused directly by speeding motorists. Those numbers increased in 2020 when lower traffic volumes led to an increase in the number of motorists driving at excessive speeds, leading to a spike in the number of related accident deaths recorded last year.  Speeding related accidents and their resulting injuries disproportionately affect teenage drivers more due to their relative lack of skill and maturity behind the wheel.

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Teens account for a greater proportion of all speeding-related accident deaths in the United States, compared to all other age groups. Those disturbing facts come from a new report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, which analyzed data between 2015 and 2019.

The report found that teen motorists, as well as their passengers between the ages of 16 and 19, accounted for a much higher proportion of accident deaths that were caused by speeding, with 43% of deaths occurring in this age group. In all other age groups, speeding accounted for approximately 30% of all deaths during the same time period.

According to the report, there were a total of 4,930 fatalities in accidents that were caused by speeding, between 2015 and 2019.  During this time, there were 15,510 teen driver and passenger accident deaths, and more than 5,200 of those occurred in accidents that were caused by speeding.

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Lately, there have been quite a few news stories of people driving on the roads with excessive speed.  While most people are currently under shelter-in-place orders, this means that there are fewer cars on the road and less traffic to navigate.  In fact, pictures have been circulating widely of empty roadways in the usually most traffic congested cities.  This has resulted in some drivers taking advantage of the empty streets and pushing the envelope on speed limits.

In the metro-Atlanta area, this behavior has been seen both on the local streets in town as well as the area’s highways.   Some drivers are not only engaging in excessive speeding, but there are others that are actually racing on the streets.

This driving at excessive speeds has caused deadly accidents with devastating results.  Most recently in Atlanta, an 11 year-old child was struck and killed by a speeding driver, and a police officer was also killed in a deadly high speed accident.

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According to the National Transportation Safety Board, speeding motorists pose a serious problem on our roads. Between 2005 and 2016, speeding-related accidents killed more than 132,500 people.  In Georgia, the annual number of deaths caused by speeding drivers in 2008 to 2017 averaged from 1200 to over 1500 each year.  Until authorities and communities address the very real risks and dangers posed by speeding, no real progress can be made in reducing the number of accident fatalities in the United States.

There are two ways in which speeding increases the risk of fatalities.  First, a speeding motorist is less likely to be able to respond in time to prevent an accident.  Second, the kinds of injuries that occur in a speeding-related accident are very often fatal, due to the very severe impact caused by the speeding vehicle involved. In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board statistics show that speeding-related fatalities accounted for approximately one-third of all traffic deaths. That number was close to the number of people who died in drunk driving accidents during that same period. However, while a lot of attention and activism is directed towards drunk driving, speeding generally does not get as much focus as an accident causing factor.

The National Transportation Safety Board identifies the recent trend in communities to raise speed limits as one of the reasons why speeding continues to claim so many lives every year.  It is a no-brainer that higher speed limits only encourage drivers to drive even faster.  In 2015, the maximum speed limit on Georgia highways was raised from 65 mph to 70 mph.  Georgia is also one of the few states that has anti-speed trap laws.

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