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What Are the Leading Causes of Georgia Car Crashes?Jake
Despite our best efforts, almost every driver in the United States is likely to get into at least one car accident in their lifetime. Despite taking every measure to drive safely and sanely, factors outside of the average person’s control mean that there is an ever-present risk of getting into a collision. In 2022, Georgia reportedly had the fourth-highest number of fatal car accidents among all U.S. states. To help Georgia residents and visitors protect themselves on the roadway, we put together this list of the most common causes of car crashes in the state.
1. Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is illegal in each U.S. state, but impaired driving still occurs at an unfortunately high rate. Alcohol, illegal substances, and even prescription medications can slow a driver’s reflexes, negatively influence their decision making, and even impact a person’s ability to maintain control of their car. As such, DUIs are one of the leading causes of car crashes in Georgia. In addition to potentially resulting in serious injuries, DUI crashes come with severe legal consequences. In Georgia, a DUI conviction can lead to jail time, steep fines, suspension of the motorist’s drivers license, or community service.
2. Dangerous Driving
Defensive driving goes beyond simply obeying the rules of the road. Drivers must make quick, high-pressure decisions at a moment’s notice to react to changing road conditions. Tailgating, speeding, and other forms of reckless driving increase both the likelihood of an accident and its potential severity. A vehicle traveling over the speed limit will take longer to come to a complete stop and may lose control or overturn on sharp turns. Aggressive driving may also aggravate other motorists, potentially leading to a case of road rage.
3. Distracted Driving
Although we often associate cellphones with distracted driving, there are many other items and habits that keep people’s attention away from the road. Anything that prevents a driver from fully focusing on the roadway and what’s happening around their car can be considered a dangerous distraction. Some common distractions include:
- Vehicle navigation systems, climate controls, or stereos
- Loud or unruly passengers
- Food or drink
- Unsecured pets or large items sliding around the vehicle
- Applying makeup while driving
- Smoking or vaping
- “Rubbernecking,” or looking at something outside of the vehicle
- Reaching for something on the ground or on an adjacent seat
- Using a cellphone to text, check emails, or make phone calls
Anytime a driver gets behind the wheel of a car, their focus should be entirely on the road so that they are able to recognize and react to potential hazards. By minimizing distractions in your vehicle to the greatest extent possible, you protect yourself and your passengers from the increased risk of a collision.
4. Inexperienced Drivers
Driving is a skill that improves with constant practice and experience. Drivers that are in training or that have just earned their permit or license may not be able to recognize dangerous situations and respond to them appropriately. If you see another motorist driving erratically or unsafely, keep a safe distance.
5. Failure to Obey the Rules of the Road
Traffic laws and regulations exist to make Georgia’s roads safer for their users. The rules of the road are meant to make the actions of other drivers predictable, so other motorists do not need to guess their intentions. Obeying the speed limit, following traffic signs and signals, and using turn indicators are all ways that drivers can work to protect themselves and the occupants of other vehicles. Some dangerous actions that may increase the risk of a crash include:
- Ignoring stop signs or running red lights
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Making an illegal turn
- Driving on the wrong side of the road
- Unsafe passing on a freeway
Steps to Follow After a Car Accident
Car accidents are stressful, hard-to-handle experiences for even the most experienced of drivers. If a collision occurs, Stone Rose Law recommends staying calm and following these steps:
- Get to a safe place and call 911
- Check yourself, your passengers, and other crash victims for injuries
- Exchange information with the other driver(s) involved in the collision
- Document the scene, if safely possible
- Get the contact information of any witnesses
- If law enforcement responds to the crash, secure a copy of their accident report
- Seek medical attention, even if you do not feel injured
- Speak to a local Georgia car accident attorney