Due to the current health situation, there has been a radical reduction in traffic volume in Georgia and across the United States. On the surface, many might think that this would also lead to fewer auto accidents with personal injury and death. However, statistics indicate that the opposite is true. There has been a notable rise in fatalities on roadways across the state. Given the unique circumstances people are facing in 2020, when there is a collision, those impacted should be aware of how and why it happened.
GDOT reports 2% increase in road fatalities from 2019
Recent information provided by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) shows that there has been a 2% rise in fatalities in 2020 from the same time-period in 2019. This comes as a surprise since fewer people have been on the road because of the pandemic. Schools have been closed intermittently, people have worked at home with greater frequency and traffic in general has decreased with the number of businesses that have been forced to temporarily shut down. The combination of less traffic and more fatal accidents is concerning and resulted in analysis as to why this is the case.
According to research, drivers are using the open roadways as an invitation to drive at excessive speed. In addition, they are driving while distracted, are under the influence, and are failing to wear their seatbelts. Speeding is a major issue. Nearly one-quarter of citations from March 1 through mid-July were for drivers going at least 24-mph beyond the speed limit – a 15% rise from 2019. Around 75% of fatal accidents involved impairment and distraction. The numbers are from the start of the year through Nov. 6. In that time, there were 1,297 road deaths. In 2019, there were 1,269 deaths during that time.
Consulting with experienced legal professionals may help with a case
The health crisis has reduced traffic by up to 10% across the state. Unfortunately, other circumstances have sparked a rise in accidents and fatalities. People who have been hurt will likely face medical expenses, lost income and other challenges that can hinder their lives and the lives of their families. When there is a fatality, there will be funeral expenses and the personal and emotional impact from an unexpected loss. While a legal filing will not turn back time, it can help with moving forward and covering for what was lost and more. Consulting with a firm that is experienced in personal injury claims may be able to help.