The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has released statistics about the number of car and truck accidents in Cherokee County, including the number of car wrecks that have produced injuries or deaths.
For purposes of the report on auto accidents, the Governor’s office grouped the statistics by County, so the report on Cherokee County includes all of the cities that sit entirely or in part in Cherokee County, including Woodstock, Canton, Holly Springs, Waleska, Ball Ground, Buffington, Oak Grove, Lebanon, Lathamtown, Sutallee, Hickory Flat and Nelson.
The population of Cherokee County is growing by leaps and bounds, but because the county still has a smaller population than some of the counties closer to Atlanta, the number of wrecks, injuries and deaths in car accidents is mercifully smaller.
Also mercifully, Cherokee County has seen a drop in the number of crashes. Beginning with 2005, the Governor’s Office of Traffic Safety reported 5490 accidents occurred within the county limits. The number dropped very slightly in 2006, to 5464, and again in 2007, to 5262. In 2008, the county saw a more substantive drop in the number of automobile accidents, with the total going down to 4571. By 2009, the number had fallen even further, to 4314.
The number of injuries in car accidents followed a similar trajectory. In 2005, 1842 people were injured in car and truck crashes on Cherokee County roads. By 2006, the number of people injured in car wrecks had fallen to 1690. The number ticked back up in 2007, to 1760, but fell again in 2008 to 1583. By 2009, the number had fallen all the way to 1475.
The number of fatalities in traffic accidents in Cherokee County followed the same pattern as the number of injuries. The number of deaths in car accidents began at an appalling 27, but fell in 2006 to 19. As with the number of injuries in car and truck wrecks, the number of deaths in car crashes rose again in 2007, to 1760, even though the number of overall crashes had dropped slightly. By 2008, the number began to fall again, dropping to 15, and then by 2009, the number of deaths in car crashes was 11, less than half of what it had been in 2005.
Not at all surprisingly, the deaths in car crashes cluster along the major arteries in Cherokee County. The highest concentration of fatal car accidents occurred in Canton, near the center of the County. The I-575 highway running through Woodstock and into Canton had a large percentage of the deaths in car and truck wrecks. A number of people also lost their lives in car crashes along the Ga. 20 or Cumming Highway area in Canton.
The map the Governor’s Office provides is small and somewhat vague on the area to the south of Canton, but it is clear that this area is very dangerous. Numerous traffic deaths have occurred in car accidents around the area where Ga. 20 comes out of Canton to the west, probably in the intersections between Knox Bridge Highway or Ga. 20 and State Route 5, and Knox Bridge Highway or Ga. 20 and Marietta Highway, and State Route 205 and Marietta Rd and Knox Bridge Highway or Ga 20. A number of people also have died in car wrecks in the area where Ga. 20 or Cumming Highway comes out to the west of Canton, and in the area where Hickory Flat Highwayyor Ga. 140 comes out to the south of Canton.
Ga. 20 or Knox Bridge Highway remains dangerous, running through Sutallee westward all the way to the edge of Cherokee County. It is also dangerous as it runs eastward out of Canton, through Buffington toward the Cherokee County line on the east. Woodstock has a fairly high percentage of deaths, albeit far less than the Canton area and the stretch of Ga. 20 stretch. Relatively fewer deaths occurred in the areas near Holly Springs, Waleska, Ball Ground, and Nelson. The area around Oak Grove and north of Acworth is dangerous along the I-75 corridor that crosses the very bottom-most part of Cherokee County. Additionally, several fatal car accidents have occurred along Alabama Road, particularly where it intersects with I-575 on the east and Woodstock Rd. on the west.
The full report can be found at http://www.gahighwaysafety.org/gacountycrashes.html.
Lee Wallace of the Wallace Law Firm is a car accident lawyer representing people involved in car and truck crashes in Cherokee County, and throughout the state of Georgia.