With more than 11.1 million residents, Georgia is the eighth most populous state, yet it has consistently ranked in the top five for the number of fatal road accidents reported in the past few years, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Multiple factors are at play, including the sheer number of vehicles on the roadways daily. Research shows Georgia has nearly 8 million licensed drivers. But driver behavior and demographics drive some troubling numbers.

To keep yourself and your family safe on Georgia’s roads, Farrar, Hennesy and Tanner recommend familiarizing yourself with the statistics.

  1. Speeding accounts for more than half of all vehicle accidents in Georgia: Speeding-related crashes consistently account for nearly a third of all accidents in the U.S. That figure is bad enough, so Georgia’s rate of higher than 50 percent means we’ve simply got too many lead-footed drivers barreling down our highways and byways. Nationwide, their perceived need for speed costs the lives of at least 30 people every single day.
  2. Male drivers are involved in 71% of Georgia fatal accidents: They say “boys will be boys”. But that’s no excuse for the gender disparity that happens behind the wheel. Research shows that males are disproportionately involved in fatal accidents in Georgia, constituting approximately 71 percent of all incidents. Men typically drive more miles than women and are more likely to engage in risky driving practices, including not using seat belts, driving while impaired and speeding. As a result, crashes involving male drivers are not only more numerous but often are more severe than those involving female drivers.
  3. Drunk driving is to blame for a quarter of all car crashes in Georgia: A study conducted between 2013 to 2019 revealed that drunk driving contributed to some 25 percent of accidents in Georgia. The highest number of fatalities recorded in the survey was in 2019, when 42 People died, totaling 29.1 percent of the fatalities of road accidents that year. It’s no wonder. Alcohol consumption can cause lack of coordination, slow reaction time, decreased vision, reduced concentration and impaired judgement.  – all of which can spell disaster on the roadways. 
  4. Repeat offenders place everyone at risk: According to 2021 data from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, nearly one out of five speeding drivers (18 percent) had a speeding conviction, and six percent of alcohol-impaired and/or drugged drivers had a DWI conviction (driving while intoxicated or impaired) previously recorded within five years prior to a fatal crash in which they were involved.
  5. More pedestrians are on the rise: Pedestrian deaths have spiked in the last few years, both in Georgia and nationwide, the IIHS says. The organization reports pedestrian deaths accounted for nearly 17 percent of all motor vehicle crash fatalities in recent years. Some 20 percent of pedestrian deaths involved a hit-and-run accident. Distractions, whether on the part of the driver or an inattentive pedestrian, are the third leading cause of pedestrian fatalities. Unsurprisingly, electronic devices are a top culprit, though passenger behavior also is often a factor. If you’re driving in a heavily populated area, such as a downtown, shopping or school district, slow down. And if you’re walking, keep your head up and your eyes on your surroundings rather than your cell phone.
  6. Drowsy driving is distracted driving: The term “distracted driving” automatically brings to mind mobile phones and other electronics, eating drive-through meals and dealing with loud or unruly passengers. But driving while drowsy is a particularly dangerous form of distracted driving, too, particularly during certain times of the day or night. Research shows that nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of drowsy-related crashes occurred before 8:00 am, 34 percent occurred between midnight and 2:59 am, and 30 percent occurred between 5:00 am and 7:59 am.
  7. Seatbelts save lives: Nearly half Georgia’s passenger vehicle accident deaths happen because drivers or passengers are not wearing seatbelts, statistics show. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seatbelt use reduces the risk of death by 45 percent and cuts the potential of severe injuries by 50 percent.

In the worst-case scenarios, a combination of multiple factors is to blame. For instance, a study by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety found that drivers involved in fatal crashes with a positive blood alcohol concentration (BAC) were 1.9 times more likely to be speeding and 3.2 times more likely to be unrestrained compared to other tested drivers with no alcohol in their system. Half of speeding drivers and unrestrained drivers with known BAC were also impaired.

Even the safest drivers who are mindful of following all rules and recommendations are at risk of injury or even death caused by fellow drivers who are less mindful of safe driving practices. If you or a loved one is the victim of another driver’s negligence, contact Farrar, Hennesy and Tanner to ensure your rights are protected and fair compensation is secured. Call 912-384-2287 or request a free case review online.