Georgia Number Four State Nationally in Accident Costs


July 02, 2011

Despite efforts in Georgia to reduce car accidents, data compiled by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reveals that Georgia has the distinction of being one of the states that lead the nation in auto accident costs. Georgia auto accident costs are approximately $1.5 billion per year, which is fourth highest in the U.S.

These costs reflect the medical expenses and lost work costs associated with Georgia car accidents, including those resulting in injury or wrongful death. These same auto accident associated costs nationally exceed $40 billion per year. This means that despite improvements, Georgia still has a long way to go in developing legislation and accident prevention measures to reduce car accidents. Our experienced Georgia car accident attorneys have been representing Atlanta car accident victims for over 27 years.

The leading causes of car accidents provide guidance into the best strategies for reducing the high human costs and financial drain associated with Georgia car accidents. Drunk driving and distracted driving causes a disproportionate number of auto accidents in Georgia. DUI-related accidents could be reduced by continuing to increase penalties for drunk driving and more stringent enforcement including sobriety checkpoints. Increased use of ignition interlock devices, including for first time offenders, may also be an effective way to reduce drunk driving rates.

Distracted driving continues to gain on drunk driving as a top cause of serious car accidents in Georgia. A complete ban on cell phone use while driving may substantially improve distracted driving accident rates in Georgia. Electronic devices like cell phones, iPads, GPS and other devices have resulted in substantial increases in distracted driving. Georgia law now bans both texting while driving, and any use of a wireless device for communication while driving by inexperienced drivers (i.e under age 18). This means that those over 18 are allowed to use their cell phone to make calls while driving. A complete ban all use of cell phones while driving might be an important step in the right direction.

There is a wealth of data suggesting that cell phones are a substantial distraction that contributes to many serious car accidents. A study conducted by Harvard researchers and reported by CBS indicates that as many as 1 in every 20 car accidents are cell phone-related. The half measures taken here in Georgia and other states have not sufficiently reduced the number of cell phone-related car accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 20 percent of all car accident fatalities in the U.S. are caused by distracted driving and that cell phones account for almost half of those distracted driving accidents.

While legislative changes and stronger enforcement of existing laws can reduce the number of people who suffer catastrophic injury or wrongful death in Georgia, the real motor of change is adjustments in behavior and attitudes. Law enforcement agencies continue to report that texting while driving laws are difficult to enforce. Given that there are literally millions of apps for many cell phones, enforcement of a law confined to texting while driving can pose challenges. While the number of drunk-driving fatalities dropped from in excess of 21,000 to fewer than 11,000 between the period of 1982 and 2009, there is still room for improvement.

The most effective way to continue to reduce the number of preventable car accidents in Georgia is for drivers to make a concerted effort to drive more safely including:

  • Focus 100 hundred percent of their attention on the road
  • Never drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • Obey speed limits and adjust speeds in adverse weather or traffic conditions
  • Allow a safe following distance from the car in front of you
  • Stay off the road or pull over if you are tired or fatigued
  • Show courtesy to other drivers

While these may sound like basic common sense suggestions, the failure to observe these fundamental practices accounts for the majority of serious Atlanta car accidents. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing those injured in serious auto accidents throughout Georgia for over 27 years. We are committed to making Georgia roadways safer for those in Atlanta and throughout all cities and rural areas in Georgia. If you or a loved one has been injured in a serious car accident or your loved one has been killed, our compassionate team at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, represent our clients with a firm commitment to helping them recover the compensation they deserve and need to rebuild their lives.

Our Atlanta auto accident attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.