Traffic accidents in Georgia and around the country claim tens of thousands of lives each year, and they are the leading cause of death among Americans under the age of 55. The vast majority of motor vehicle crashes occur because drivers became distracted, got behind the wheel after drinking or taking drugs or made a mistake of some kind, which is why road fatalities remain worryingly high despite advances in automobile safety technology and improvements to road networks.
Speed and distraction
While some traffic accidents are caused by mechanical failures, inclement weather or debris in the roadway, far more occur because drivers acted recklessly. Excessive speed is a factor in about one in three crashes and more than a quarter of all road deaths, yet many motorists continue to believe that exceeding posted speed limits by 5 or 10 mph is acceptable. Distraction is another leading cause of accidents, and most road safety experts expect the number of deaths linked to inattentive driving to grow in the years ahead due to the popularity of smartphones and the increasing complexity of automobile entertainment and navigation systems.
While the number of drunk drivers on the nation’s roads has fallen in recent decades, intoxication is still one of the leading causes of traffic accident deaths. According to a report from the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, drunk driving accidents in 2018 killed 375 people in Georgia and caused 24.9% of the state’s road deaths. The nonprofit group based its figures on data gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but not all drivers take toxicology tests after an accident. This means that the true drunk driving fatality figures are likely even higher.
Car accident lawsuits
Impaired, distracted or reckless drivers may face civil sanctions if their negligent actions cause other road users to be harmed. If you are involved in a car accident and would like to take legal action against the driver responsible, an experienced personal injury could study the police report for indications of negligence. If the facts suggest that the driver who injured you acted recklessly, an attorney could file a lawsuit on your behalf seeking compensation for your pain and suffering, medical bills, property damage and lost income.