Georgia Could be Reversing Course on Fatal Car Accidents in 2018
GEORGIA – October 31, 2018 (dot.ga.gov) According to traffic data from the Georgia Department of Transportation for 2017 and the majority of 2018, Georgia looks to be reversing course on fatal car accidents.*
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials has set a national goal of reducing traffic fatalities by 1,000 every year. For its part in meeting the national goal, Georgia has set its own target goal of 41 fewer traffic deaths every year in the state. The Georgia DOT set this goal based on the state’s roadway types and the number of cars and trucks using the roadway systems in Georgia. The Georgia DOT has since been tracking the state’s progress in meeting the goal.
In 2017, the state did not meet the goal. Georgia was on a path of rising traffic deaths coming out of 2015 and 2016, during which 1,432 and 1,561 people died in car accidents in the state, respectively. Fatality numbers dropped slightly in 2017, according to the DOT’s most recent figures calculated in early 2018. A total of 1,549 people died in Georgia traffic accidents during 2017, which represents only 12 fewer deaths, rather than the targeted 41.
However, the state looks to make the goal and potentially exceed it in 2018, based on figures available at this time from the Georgia DOT. So far in 2018, the DOT shows 1,198 traffic fatalities on Georgia roads. With the year quickly coming to an end, the state has a good chance of reversing the trend of increased traffic deaths. The number is still above the 10-year low of 1,170 (in 2014), but it signals progress for the state.
Part of the change in course can likely be attributed to passage and enforcement of the Hands-Free Georgia Act in 2018. The legislation bans all use of hand-held electronics while driving in Georgia and takes aim at distracted driving.
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