Huge rise in traffic deaths in Chattooga County and nationwide in 2016

Submitted by Ingrid on Fri, 08/26/2016 - 08:09

The National Safety Council has released a report detailing how the number of traffic deaths has risen 9% in the first six months of 2016, compared to the same period of 2015. This is disturbing news, and puts 2016 on track to be the deadliest year on America's roads since 2007.

An estimated 19,100 people have been killed on U.S. roads since January, and 2.2 million were seriously injured.

The traffic-death increase is just as startling in Chattooga County

Statewide, traffic deaths are up 7% from 2015, and up 34% from 2014.

In Chattooga County, the statistics for 2014, provided by the Governor's Office of Highway Safety, are:

Fatalities: 4

Injuries: 269

Crashes: 622

Speed-related fatal crashes: 1

These disturbing statistics should concern us all, since Georgians should expect that our roadways are getting safer, yet data shows this isn't always the case.

What is the cause of this rise in traffic deaths?

There are certainly many factors that affect these statistics, but the National Safety Council report states that a stronger economy, lower unemployment rates, and lower gas prices have resulted in an increase in the number of miles driven. More people driving more miles means more injury and fatality accidents.

What can be done to reduce the number of traffic deaths in Georgia and nationwide?

Since many injury and fatality crashes are caused by alcohol/drug use, distracted driving, and speeding, the National Safety Council recommends that drivers:

  • Make sure every passenger wears a seat belt; in 2014, only 48% of drivers and 44% of passengers who died in accidents were belted.
  • Always designate an alcohol and drug-free driver.
  • Get plenty of sleep prior to driving and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue;
  • Never use a cell phone while driving;
  • Follow speed limits, and teach your teenagers the dangers of speeding and aggressive driving.
  • Learn about your vehicle's safety systems and how to use them.

If you've been injured in Chattooga County, call us to see if we can help.