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The Georgia Department of Transportation (“GA DOT”) issued
a report in 2008,
Crash Statistics, Analysis and Information Notebook 2008, that delved into the statistics about car accidents in Georgia. I am a
lawyer handling Lawrenceville car wreck cases and car accident cases from around Georgia, and I have been blogging about
this GA DOT report.

Yesterday I mentioned the fact that the statistics unexpectedly show that
fatal car accidents are more likely to occur in rural Georgia than in
metro Atlanta counties, or around the municipal areas of Albany and Leesburg,
Athens, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, and Savannah, and the northeastern corner
of our state, which is near Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The
2008 GA DOT report.pdf suggested several reasons why people in a car accident are more likely
to be killed in car accident in Rabun County, Georgia, which the DOT considered
one of our state’s rural county, than in Fulton County, Georgia.
These factors increased the risk of death from car accident generally,
and many of these conditions are more likely to occur on rural roads.

1. It appears that the rural roads themselves are the reason why there
are so many more deaths in car crashes in rural Georgia. Of the car wrecks
in which people were killed, three out of four of the fatal crashes occurred
on Georgia two-way roads that did not have any separation or barrier.
Roads in the Atlanta metro areas, and in other municipal areas, are much
more likely to have multiple lanes and medians. Georgia’s rural
roads may not.

2. More people are killed in a crash when the vehicle leaves the road.
The absolute greatest risk of death or injury occurs when a vehicle either
overturns or crashes into a fixed object. Worse, the number of rollover
crashes increased dramatically, by 41.2%, between 2000 to 2006. Rural
roads are less likely to have a shoulder, and so a car can leave the road
more easily.

3. The risk of crashing is much greater when a road has a horizontal curve.
“In 2006, one out of two fatal off road crashes happened on a curve
although straight roadway segments far outnumber curved roadway segments.”
Many of the roads in rural Georgia are curvy.

4. A full 1/3 of fatal crashes occur on off-system roads, and “almost
all” of these car accidents in which people died happened on two-way
roads without any separation (see first point, above), and 62% were on
horizontal curves (see point 3 above).

5. Not surprisingly, car wrecks in intersections are quite dangerous. ¼
of all the fatal car crashes in Georgia occur at an intersection. Of these
car accidents at intersections, 60% occurred at an intersection without
any traffic control. Of these four categories, “the highest number
of fatal intersection crashes occurred in rural counties.”

6. Crashes that occur at an angle are more likely to be fatal. The GA DOT
defines angle wrecks as wrecks where one vehicle is turning and another
vehicle hits it from the side. Not surprisingly, then, most intersection
car accidents are angle wrecks, and 61% of the deaths in vehicle collisions
at intersections involved angle wrecks. 25.2% of the deaths in car wrecks
occur when the auto crash happens at an angle. Of the fatal crashes between
2000 and 2006, 2618 of them involved automobile wrecks that occurred at an angle.