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GDOT says traffic fatalities up in Georgia this year

Avondale Estates Decatur Kirkwood and East Lake Metro ATL

GDOT says traffic fatalities up in Georgia this year

Source: Wikimedia commons

Source: Wikimedia commons

The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) says traffic fatalities are up in Georgia, and it’s launched a safety campaign to talk about simple changes drivers can make to prevent deadly crashes.

GDOT reports traffic fatalities in the state were up 25 percent in the first quarter compared to 2014.

In a video on GDOT’s website, GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry says, “With the average of 100 deaths a month, we’re on track for 1,200 or more fatalities in 2015. And even more alarming, this would be the first increase in annual fatalities in Georgia nine years.”

McMurry said early data show many fatalities have occurred in single vehicle crashes resulting from distracted driving. GDOT said only 38 percent of victims in fatality crashes were wearing seat belts.

Drive Alert, Arrive Alive is the year-long campaign being launched to remind people to wear a seat belt and to not text, eat, or use GPS while behind the wheel.

It’s asking drivers to “take responsibility to protect yourself, your passengers, other drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists” by buckling up, staying off the phone, and driving alert (not drowsy or impaired).

Here are the GDOT traffic fatality statistics for the first quarter of 2015:

  • 25% increase in the number of traffic fatalities
  • 60% of fatalities result from single vehicle crashes – single vehicle hitting a fixed object like a tree, culvert, or bridge.
  • 38% of victims in fatality crashes were wearing seat belts.
  • 79% of these fatalities are the result of driver behavior – 69% from failing to maintain their lane (the vehicle drifts into another lane or off the roadway) and 10% from rear end crashes
  • 15% of fatalities are pedestrians
  • 2% of fatalities are bicyclists
  • Georgia DOT District 1 (Northeast Georgia) and District 3 (West Central Georgia) show the highest increases in fatalities
Dena Mellick

Dena Mellick is the Associate Editor of Decaturish.com.