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The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has released a “Traffic Safety Fact Sheet” for Cobb County and other cities around Georgia. The fact sheet describes the car accidents and crashes, car wreck injuries, and fatalities from car crashes in Cobb County, putting together the information for Marietta, Kennesaw, Smyrna, Acworth, Powder Springs, Mableton, and every area of Cobb County.

The report uses the latest data available, which is from 2009.

According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, in 2005, Cobb County had 72 fatalities in traffic accidents. The number of deaths dropped to 65 in 2006, and dropped even lower to 59 in 2007. The number of fatalities moved slightly higher in 2008, and then plummeted to 35 in 2009.

The number of car crashes in Cobb County 2005 was 27,159. The number fell every year thereafter. 26,512 car accidents occurred in 2006. The number dropped further in 2007, to 26,393. The number of car wrecks dropped by a much greater amount in 2008, to 23,182. But the drop in 2009 was the largest yet, falling to 18,879.

Although the number of car and truck accidents in Cobb County was declining, the number was still more than 2/3 of what it had been in 2005, which is why I concluded that the statistics had to have gone through most, if not all, of 2009.

Injuries in car accidents fell dramatically, too, although not as dramatically as the fatalities in car wrecks. In 2005, 27,159 people were injured in car accidents in Cobb County. The number of injuries in Cobb County dropped to 26,512 in 2006, and by a few more in 2007, to 26,393. Just as with the crashes, the injuries dropped significantly in 2008, coming out as 23,182.

As you might expect, most of the fatalities clustered in the 85 corridor running through Marietta and Smyrna. Smyrna and Mableton seemed to show the biggest decline in 2009 deaths in car wrecks. Acworth, Kennesaw and Powder Springs were relatively safer areas, in all years. Also as you might expect, the car accident deaths grouped along highways, and were far lower in neighborhood areas.

58% of the people killed in car accidents involving light trucks and passenger cars were wearing seatbelts. 29% were unrestrained, which meant they were not wearing seat belts. For 13% of the people who died on Cobb County roads, the emergency personnel were not able to tell whether the person had been wearing a seat belt or not.

On a fairly consistent basis, many of the fatalities in Cobb County car accidents involved alcohol or excessive speed. Fewer of the fatal car wrecks involved motorcycles, but that fact may be due to the fact that fewer people drive motorcycles in Cobb County than in other parts of Georgia. Each year a distressing number – from 7 to 14 – pedestrians die in road wrecks on Cobb County roads.

Safer is certainly good. Fewer accidents, fewer injuries, fewer fatalities – all of these things are cause for rejoicing. But the sobering fact is that between 35 and 72 people die on Cobb County roads every year.

The Wallace Law Firm represents people injured in car accidents in Cobb County and other counties in Georgia.