The DOT’s National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration recently announced some welcome news for motorists, pedestrians, motorcyclists and bicyclists around the country – traffic accident fatalities for 2017 were down by 2 percent. This decline followed two prior years of large increases. The decline in fatalities also continued for the first half of 2018.
Overall, according to data from the Department of Transportation, a total of 37,133 people died in traffic accidents across the country in 2017. That was a decrease of 2 percent from the previous year. This was also in stark contrast to the 6.5 percent increase in fatalities from 2015 to 2016 and the 8.4 percent increase from 2014 to 2015. The trend also appears to have carried over into Georgia as total traffic deaths on Georgia roadways decreased in 2017 after two large years of increases in 2015 and 2016.
The data has more good news. It shows a 2 percent decrease in pedestrian fatalities. This was a traffic safety area that had been a huge source of concern for safety advocates because of the increase in pedestrian accident fatalities over the past several years. In 2017, federal authorities recorded the first decline in pedestrian accident fatalities since 2013, and that is welcome news indeed.
Although there is certainly reason to be hopeful and encouraged by this news, there is still room for improvement in these statistics. The 37,133 accident deaths in 2018 were entirely preventable as most accidents continue to occur as a result of negligent driving. In fact, the top causes of accidents remained the same in 2017. These included drunk or distracted drivers, drug-impaired drivers, and speeding motorists who endanger their lives as well as the safety of others.
The role of distracted drivers in causing crashes, for instance, has been rising steadily over the past few years. While drunk driving accidents have dropped in number, they still form a sizeable percentage of the total number of fatal traffic accidents that occur in Georgia every year. Georgia authorities are also especially concerned about the role of drug-impaired motorists, and their role in causing traffic fatalities across the metro Atlanta region and beyond. In addition, the recent passage of the Georgia Hands-Free Law hopefully will help keep the number of traffic deaths due to distracted driving on a downward trend for 2019.
This year, take steps ensure that you and your loved ones are safe when on the roads. You can do this by always buckling in, and making sure that everyone else in your case is also buckled in safely. Children should be restrained in car seats or seatbelts depending on their age. Practise defensive driving. As the Atlanta and North Georgia area continues to grow, there will be an increasing number of motorists on the streets. Therefore, it is extremely important for motorists to drive at safe speeds, and follow all traffic rules at all times. And always, avoid tailgating or running red lights. These practices can be you avoid being accident statistic in 2019.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, you may be eligible for damages to compensate you for your losses like medical costs, lost incomes and other losses. Talk to an Atlanta car accident lawyer at the Katz Law Firm, and discuss how you can file a claim for damages to offset your losses.