I am a
car accident lawyer here in Georgia, and I have been blogging to try to make Georgians think
about driving safely over this Christmas holidays. When it comes to serious
personal injuries and deaths in car accidents, Georgians naturally tend
to think about car crashes in the Atlanta metro area. In fact, only 10
of the 25 deaths occurred in the 35-miles radius around downtown Atlanta.
Still, that number is appalling, and it certainly means Atlantans have
every reasons to slow down and drive defensively over the holiday.
When the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration tracks statistics
for deaths over Christmas, it counts a several-day period, to account
for the fact that people travel to and from family over the long weekend.
NHTSA keeps the information in a database called the
Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). For Christmas 2008, NHTSA tracked deaths from car crashes that occurred
on five separate days: Wednesday the 24th, Thursday the 25th, Friday the
26th, Saturday the 27th and Sunday the 28th.
The first deadly car crash in the Atlanta metro area was on Christmas Eve
in Newton County. That auto wreck occurred on I-20. A second Christmas
Eve car fatality occurred in Lithia Springs in Douglas County along US-78
/ SR-5, more commonly known as Veterans Memorial Hwy.
The next day, three people were killed in the Atlanta area in Christmas
Day car crashes. The first death occurred from a car crash in Clayton
County on Bethaven Dr.
The second death was the only one that actually occurred within the city
limits of Atlanta. The wreck occurred in the part of Atlanta that sits
in DeKalb County. A pedestrian was killed on Buford Hwy. / SR-13. From
my work as a lawyer in car accident cases, I know that Buford Highway
is one of the most dangerous places in the State of Georgia for pedestrians.
The third death of Christmas Day also occurred in DeKalb County, but not
within the Atlanta city limits. That wreck happened on SR-141 / Peachtree
Industrial Blvd., and for the second time that day a pedestrian was killed.
On December 26, 2008, three more people were killed in car accidents in
Atlanta Metro area counties. The first occurred in Newton County on SR-12
/ US -278 / SR-142 and Alcovy Crossing Rd. A second person was killed
in a car wreck on Anneewakee Rd. in Douglas County. A third died in the
city of Canton in Cherokee County, at the intersection of SR-5 Business
and Riverside Parkway.
Only one person was killed in a car wreck on December 27, 2008, which I
suppose you could say was “fortunate.” One person was killed
in an auto crash on Weldon Rd. in Coweta County.
On Sunday the 28th, the final day of the holiday according to NHTSA, two
more people died in car crashes. The first was killed in Henry County
in a car crash on I-75. The second was killed in a car wreck along I-575
in Cherokee County.
These statistics are kept by NHTSA in a database it calls FARS, which is
short for the “Fatality Analysis Reporting System”. The 50
states and the U.S. territories provide these statistics to NHTSA, which
puts them in a massive database that can be searched and manipulated by
the general public over the Internet. The database is completely unique
and invaluable, but it generally is several years behind.
So if you will be driving in Atlanta over this Christmas holiday, buckle
up, drive defensively and slow down! Hopefully this Christmas will see
fewer car crashes than Christmas 2008.