An auto accident can occur in a variety of locations, although some accident locations are more common than others. Unfortunately, if you are driving in the state of Georgia, recent studies have shown that I-285 has more fatal accidents per mile than any other interstate in the nation.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), there were 1,540 deaths caused by car crashes in Georgia in 2017. 53 percent of these deaths involved one vehicle and 47 percent involved multiple vehicles. It was also found that 63 percent of these car crash deaths occurred in urban areas while 37 percent occurred in rural areas.
If you are curious as to where and when most car accidents occur in Georgia and other areas of the country, here are some facts to take into consideration the next time you are behind the wheel.
Whether you are driving around in a big city or a small town, you will undoubtedly encounter many intersections along the way. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, intersections are some of the most common locations for car accidents. In many cases, these accidents occur during the morning work commute or the evening ride home, likely because there are many vehicles on the road with drivers who are hurrying to their destination. According to researchers, intersection accidents often happen where the intersection has only a stop or yield sign, which leads to side-impact collisions when drivers attempt to make left turns or cross the road.
While you would assume traffic light locations would be safe places on a road, they too can lead to a variety of accidents, especially in Georgia. While most accidents occurring at stoplights are not high-speed collisions, they can still be quite serious. Most of the time, rear-end collisions take place at stoplights, leading to such injuries as whiplash or head injuries. However, if a collision occurs further away from the stoplight, it can in some instances set off a chain reaction crash, resulting in injuries and possible fatalities. Because of this, the Georgia Department of Transportation has enacted a driver safety campaign. Titled “Drive Alert, Arrive Alive,” the campaign is aimed at keeping drivers safe by reducing the amount of impaired and distracted driving.
With only one lane traveling in each direction, two-lane roads are considered some of the most dangerous stretches of the highway not only in Georgia but throughout the United States. Though having only moderate speed limits and typically being located in non-residential areas, these roadways are responsible for some of the most horrific and deadly crashes each year. Since there is very little margin for error on the part of a driver, even a slight drifting to the right or left can prove deadly. If a car drifts left, it will be crossing the center line, which can lead to a head-on collision with another driver. However, if a vehicle drifts to the right, it can find itself plunging down a hillside or perhaps hitting a guardrail, or otherwise, the driver may over-correct which can then put the vehicle in the opposite lane. In most of these accidents, problems result from drivers who attempt to illegally pass slower vehicles ahead of them or are distracted or impaired due to drugs or alcohol.
Very common in Georgia and other states across the country, rural highways present their own set of challenges that often lead to car accidents. Georgia is ranked as the fourth-worst state in the nation regarding the total number of fatal car accidents, having 1,540 in 2017 alone, 53% of which were single-vehicle accidents. In many cases, these wrecks in Georgia occurred on rural highways. Though these roads often have far fewer vehicles on them compared to interstates or major roadways, they are usually located in isolated areas. As a result, drivers are far more prone to become inattentive, especially when driving late at night when they are tired. Sleepiness at the wheel often results in running off the side of the road, leading to many different types of serious accidents. Along with issues of driver inattention, rural highways also have more issues with poor roadway maintenance and road debris, both of which can be a cause of fatal accidents.
Though not known for high-speed crashes or accidents involving multiple vehicles, a surprising number of car accidents occur in parking lots. With vehicles often traveling in every conceivable direction, a fair share of fender-benders, busted tail lights, and scrapes and scratches on doors take place in parking lots. Due to few (if any) enforced traffic rules within a parking lot, staying safe usually means relying on the common sense and courtesy of other parking lot inhabitants. Unfortunately, common sense and courtesy are sometimes in very short supply in a parking lot, contributing to many accidents that occur in these locations.
Beware of Summer
Along with many car accidents occurring during the morning commute to work and the ride home after a long day, mortality rates for car accidents in Georgia and nationwide are highest during the summer months of June, July, and August. While this is often attributed to more drivers on the road due to vacations, other factors also play a significant role. For example, since people on vacation are in unfamiliar areas, they have less knowledge of traffic patterns, leading to more accidents.
While many accidents may happen when people are far away from home, statistics from the NHTSA indicate the majority of car accidents occur within a five-mile radius of a person’s home. Thus, you are more likely to be involved in a car accident while making a trip to the grocery store than you are while making a long-distance trip down the highway. Of course, this isn’t because the trip to the grocery store is inherently more dangerous than the long-distance trip; instead, the statistics simply indicate that a higher percentage of driving occurs close to one’s home.
Do You Need an Auto Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident due to a distracted driver or other situation involving negligence or carelessness, contact the Eichholz Law Firm to schedule a consultation regarding your legal rights and the compensation to which you may be entitled.
- Ana Santos. “America’s deadliest interstate is in Georgia, the study says,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, https://www.ajc.com/blog/commuting/america-deadliest-interstate-georgia-study-says/B6ajUhiveIm3uxs9jk1NEM/. Accessed June 24, 2019.
- Esurance. “where car accidents happen most,” Esurance, https://www.esurance.com/info/car/where-car-accidents-happen-most. Accessed June 24, 2019.
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). “Fatality Facts 2017: State by state,” Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/state-by-state. Accessed June 27, 2019.