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"FireworksEvery year nearly 20 people die on Georgia’s roads over the Fourth of July weekend. I want to urge all of my blog readers to be extremely careful as they hit the road this weekend for family day trips, vacations, and fireworks shows.

A few months back I did some research for this Georgia car accident blog, and discovered to my surprise what a large number of people die in car wrecks over the various holiday weekends. I had assumed I might find a tragic number of people died in car crashes that happened over New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, and I did. But I had not expected to find that so many people were killed in auto wrecks on the other holiday weekends.

To get the stats, I looked at the data collected by the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration for 2009, the latest data available online. NHTSA collects data about fatal car accidents from all fifty states and the U.S. territories. The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (“FARS”), database does have a significant limitation. It does not include car crashes in which someone receives personal injuries – even if they have severe brain injuries or are paralyzed – unless another person is killed in the accident. Still, the data, built across all of the different cities and states, is very useful.

According to the data, on Thursday, July 2, 2009, as the Independence Day weekend opening, two people were killed in a single, fatal car crash in Athens, Georgia, in Clarke County. That same day, one person was killed in a car accident in Rome, in Floyd County.

The next day was Friday, July 3, 2009. Five people were killed on Georgia roads and highways that day. One person was killed in DeKalb County. A second person died in a automobile wreck in Henry County. A third person was killed in a Liberty County car crash. A fourth person died after a car accident in Barrow County here in Georgia.

That year the Fourth of July – the FARS database actually refers to it as Independence Day — fell on a Saturday. Six people were killed in car wrecks that July 4th.

One person was killed in a Brooks County car wreck, and another died in a car crash in Harris County. A third fatality occurred in an auto wreck in Montgomery County. Crawford County saw one person die in a collision. DeKalb became the first county in Georgia to have two people die in car crashes over the weekend of July 4th. In a horrific collision, two people were killed in one wreck in Dougherty County.

On Sunday, July 5, 2009, the fourth day of the holiday weekend as calculated by NHTSA, five people were killed.

One person died in a car collision in Floyd County, making Floyd County the second county to suffer two fatal car collisions in just the one Fourth of July weekend. That same day, one person died in a Murray County car crash, and another in a Newton County collision. Two more people died that same day, one in a Stephens County auto wreck. One final fatality occurred in an automobile crash in Social Circle, in Walton County, Georgia.


Lee’s peers have named her a Georgia SuperLawyer every year for two decades.