Welcome to my “Christmas Crusade” to get Georgians to slow
down and drive more carefully over this Christmas holiday!
I am a
Georgia car crash lawyer and I handle cases for people with serious injuries from car crashes and
family members of people killed in car wrecks. The Christmas holiday is
such an emotionally devastating times to lose someone you love, so I am
trying to convince Georgians that they should drive defensively over this vacation.
Here in Georgia we tend to associate traffic and all the ills that come
with it with the Atlanta metro area. For the rest of the state, though,
it is important to know that the rate of deaths in car crashes is actually
higher in rural areas than metro areas. Ironically, all that Atlanta traffic
slows folks down. While more accidents occur, they are at a lower average
speed, which means – in terms of rate, not numbers – it has
a lower death rate than other areas. Surprisingly, however, all that Atlanta
traffic actually lowers the speed of the cars, and thus the rate (not
number, but rate) of fatalities that occur when autos do collide.
So while people driving through Atlanta have every reason to be cautious
this Christmas holiday, so do people driving in every other part of Georgia.
To give folks incentive to be careful, I want to take a look at the deaths
that occurred over the Christmas holiday in 2008. (I’m getting my
data from the
Fatality Analysis Reporting System (“FARS”), which is inevitably somewhat stale). While it is true that 10 people
were killed in car accidents in the Atlanta metro area over that 5-day
period, 15 were killed outside the metro area, in auto collisions scattered
all across the State.
On December 26, 2008, one person died in a car crash in the city of Folkston
in Charlton County. The accident happened on Sixth St. inside the city limits.
The next day, two more people were killed in South Georgia car accidents.
On December 27, 2008, one person died in a Cook County auto crash along
I-75. That same day, a person was killed in a Ware County auto wreck on SR-4.
Three people were killed in North Georgia Christmas car accidents, all
on the same day — December 26, 2008. The first person died in a
car crash on Pierce Rd. in Barrow County. The second person died in a
highway wreck, on I-24 in Dade County. The third North Georgian killed
that day died in a car collision on Shoals Creek Rd. in the Dawson County limits.
MIDDLE GEORGIA/CENTRAL GEORGIA
Another three Georgians lost their lives in Middle Georgia car wrecks.
The first person died on Christmas day, in Smithville in Sumter County.
That wreck happened at the intersection of Stanton Dr. S and SR-3. The
next day, a person was killed in a Bibb County car accident that happened
along I-475. The third person to be killed in a Middle Georgia car accident
over the 2008 Christmas holiday died after a December 27th wreck in Montgomery
County on Hilton Memory Rd.
East Georgia was socked with four deaths over the 2008 Christmas holiday
period. Augusta, in Richmond County, had the unfortunate distinction of
being the only city to have two deadly car accidents. (Two counties –
DeKalb and Cherokee – also had two crashes each.) One person died
in a car crash at the corner of Tobacco Rd. and Windsor Spring Rd. on
December 26th. Then, an Augusta pedestrian was hit and killed by a car
on Horseshoe Rd., in Richmond County, on December 28th. A second East
Georgia pedestrian was struck and killed by a car in Burke County on the
28th. The pedestrian had been walking along Susie Bailey Rd. On December
27th, a person died in a car accident in Stewart County. The accident
happened where SR-27 / Nicholson St. crosses CR-53.
I suppose you could say it was fortunate that “only” one person
died in Coastal Georgia. That car crash occurred on December 28, 2008,
in the city of Pooler, which is in Chatham County. A pedestrian –
the fifth to be hit and killed by a car over the Christmas holiday –
was killed on I-16.
So, Georgians – don’t be complacent just because you don’t
live in the Atlanta metro area. Christmas traffic is heavy everywhere,
and the driving can be dangerous. Drive defensively, slowly, and don’t