Car accidents are an alarmingly common occurrence on the streets of Georgia. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), it is the state with the 16th-highest rate of car accident deaths per 100,000 members of the population. In 2019, out of the 1,377 fatal crashes in the state, there were 1,491 deaths.
No one ever wants to be injured in a car accident, let alone lose their own life or that of a loved one. It is impossible to say that you are fully prepared to avoid a motor vehicle accident because there are a lot of factors involved, but here are some of the most common types and causes of car accidents in Georgia that you should be aware of.
5 Most Common Car Accident Types in Georgia
The data in this section is from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)’s Traffic Safety Facts Report for Georgia in 2019. Car accident fatalities were classified into types based on the status of the vehicles involved, but a single fatality can be eligible for more than one category, leading to double counting.
Single Vehicle Accidents
Accidents that involved only one coded vehicle were the most common type of fatal accident, accounting for 750 of the 1,491 fatalities. Most people assume that the greatest risk on the road is other vehicles, but the fact of the matter is that even across the United States, single-vehicle accidents comprise more than half of the fatalities, accounting for 53%.
This may be due to drivers being more reckless on empty roads, feeling comfortable enough to check their phones, or driving over the speed limit. Drivers that were driving while intoxicated or fatigued could also have contributed to the statistic, as their impaired judgment could have prevented them from avoiding stationary obstacles in time to avoid collision.
Accidents Involving a Roadway Departure
A roadway departure, defined by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as when a vehicle “crosses an edge line or a center line, or otherwise leaves the traveled way,” led to 705 fatalities in Georgia (47%). Across the United States, around 51% of all fatalities from 2016-2018 were a result of roadway departure. This type of accident includes head-on collisions where a vehicle enters the opposing lane of traffic.
Accidents Involving an Intersection
Intersections are very busy areas, and they are a common site for traffic accidents. Drivers can end up in rear-end collisions when braking improperly at a stoplight, get confused about right of way, make risky turns or maneuvers that they do not have clearance for, and more. Accidents that involved an intersection or were intersection-related resulted in 394 fatalities (26%) in Georgia, making them the third most common type.
Accidents Involving a Rollover
When a car bumps into another, a low enough impact will result in both staying upright on the road. However, when a vehicle trips over an object (e.g. curb, guardrail), turns too quickly or sharply, falls down an embankment, or is impacted heavily from the side in a multi-vehicle accident, a rollover can occur.
This type of accident can cause severe injuries as passengers are susceptible to being tossed around or flung out of the vehicle. It was the fourth most common type in Georgia, with 314 fatalities (21%) recorded.
Accidents Involving Speeding
Speed limits are meant to regulate traffic and make roads safer by allowing drivers more time to react to possible collisions. Unfortunately, speeding is a very common behavior among drivers, and it led to 260 fatalities (17%) in Georgia in 2019.
Common Causes for Car Accidents in Georgia
When you are behind the wheel, your full attention should always be focused on the road. Even a momentary distraction, for as little as two seconds, can pose a significant safety risk when you are moving at speeds of several miles per hour. At 55mph, you can travel the length of an entire football field in the time it takes you to glance at your phone.
An estimate of 25-50% of all motor vehicle crashes in the United States are a direct result of distraction. According to the NHTSA, 3,142 people were killed in 2019 due to distracted driving. Using a cellphone (for either calling or texting), eating, listening to loud music, applying makeup, or talking to passengers should all be avoided for the safety of you and everyone on the road.
Other common driver behaviors that cause accidents are:
- Driving while fatigued or drowsy — When you’re tired, your body will be fighting to get the rest it needs. If you drive while tired, you will be unable to pay proper attention to your surroundings and react quickly to any changes, which can lead to collisions.
- Driving while intoxicated — Similar to when you’re fatigued, drinking impairs your ability to drive. Laws prohibit drunk driving for good reason, as it regularly kills thousands per year.
- Aggressive driving — Defined by the NHTSA as when “an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property,” this includes speeding, changing lanes often or erratically, and other risky behaviors. Drivers may feel entitled to drive aggressively because they believe that other drivers are impeding their progress.
What To Do After a Car Accident in Georgia
Even if you take as many precautions as you can, accidents still happen. Immediately after a car accident, you will want to seek medical assistance and report the incident to the police, but what happens after that? You might be watching costs pile up from medical expenses, vehicle repairs, and even a loss of wages if your injuries rendered you unable to work.
If the accident was the result of another party’s recklessness or negligence, you may be eligible for compensation under Georgia personal injury laws. Contact our experienced Georgia car accident lawyers to help you review the facts of your case and fight for the compensation needed for your damages. With the right legal representation, you will have a smoother journey in recovering from an auto accident. We are here to help — schedule a free consultation today.