Many people in Georgia are deeply troubled by the growing number of traffic fatalities found on the roads. This is far from a local concern, however; global health experts at the World Health Organization have identified traffic-related deaths as a major worldwide problem. Across the globe, motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 5 and 29. Across all age groups, crashes are the eighth most common cause of death, outstripping HIV and tuberculosis on the list of fatal global health concerns. In 2016 alone, 1.35 million people lost their lives in car crashes, a statistic cited by the WHO in its 2018 Global Status Report on Road Safety.
Car accidents are a common cause of injuries in Georgia and around the country. Data from the National Safety Council suggests that states are falling short on collecting information about the causes of most crashes. Police reports may contain inadequate or inaccurate information about the incidents.
Georgia residents who frequently find themselves driving in urban areas or alongside large trucks should learn about what the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has discovered about 2017 car crash trends. It turns out that there was a decrease in every type of fatal accident except large truck crashes and wrecks in urban areas.
Decades of research shows that the vast majority of drivers in Georgia and around the country consider themselves to be highly capable behind the wheel. A study conducted more than 50 years ago reveals that even motorists who had been involved in single-vehicle accidents that police concluded were their fault rated their driving skills as good or excellent. Insurance companies rely on accident data and claims histories rather than self-assessments to determine how much of a risk drivers pose to other road users, and it is young drivers that emerge as the biggest driving hazard.
Distracted driving, especially among teens, is as much of a problem in Georgia as it is in other states. One study conducted by Baylor University shows that traditional drivers' education may not be enough to keep teens from engaging in dangerous activities behind the wheel. Researchers focused on an interactive, reality-based supplemental program called the Texas Reality Education for Drivers program and its effect on 21 teen participants.
Georgia became the sixteenth state to prohibit the use of hand-held mobile devices by drivers when Gov. Nathan Deal signed House Bill 673 into law. The bill, which is also known as the Hands Free Law, also bans recording video with mobile devices and reading cellphone screens while behind the wheel. Motorists in the Peach State who wish to avoid a $50 ticket must now either use hands-free devices or pull over before using their smartphones. The law went into effect on July 1.
Distracted driving can be a major concern when people get behind the wheel on Georgia roadways. Especially after the rise of the smartphone, there is an array of distractions in every car that can keep a driver's eyes - and mind - off the road. The consequences of distracted driving can be serious and even deadly. In 2015, 3,477 people lost their lives due to distracted driving.
If you are in a car accident in Georgia, there are five steps which should be taken. These are worth remembering should anything ever happen to you, a friend, or a loved one.
Most drivers are aware of the dangers posed by other drivers, bad weather, poor visibility and other factors. But there are less visible hazards as well. In some cases, the safety infrastructure we take for granted may actually be responsible for causing injuries and deaths.