Georgia State Patrol Reports That 2020 Was a Tragic Year of Fatal Georgia Highway Accidents
According to a motor vehicle accident report posted on AJC.com, the number of fatal highway accidents in 2020 exceeded 2019's numbers... in July of 2020. Although there have been fewer motor vehicles on the road during the first few months of 2020, many more people tragically lost their lives on state highways in 2020.
As of December 29, 2020, 1,600 people lost their lives in Georgia accidents. Last year, there were 1,502 who were killed in a Georgia motor vehicle accident.
The sharp increase in traffic accident fatalities has surprised traffic safety experts since there was a significant decrease in motor vehicle traffic due to the COVID-19 lockdowns. Atlanta's metro highway traffic levels are still about 10 percent less than normal.
Natalie Dale, the spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Transportation, stated that the number of highway accident fatalities is discouraging since the department felt the number of fatal accidents was heading in the right direction for many years. The number of fatal traffic accidents had been declining since 2016.
Georgia's Hands-Free law prohibits drivers from handling cellphones and other electronic devices while driving. This new law is credited with reducing the number of traffic fatalities in recent years. Safety advocates were hopeful that the number of fatal accidents would decline with fewer vehicles on the road. However, the Georgia Department of Transportation discovered that fatal traffic accidents were rising, and the trend is continuing to climb.
According to police officials, the lighter traffic has motivated some drivers to speed, which leads to more severe consequences during an accident. It will be several months before GDOT is able to produce a full analysis. In addition to speeding, the lack of seat belt usage and drunk driving may also be a factor in the sudden increase in fatal accidents.
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