Across the country and around Atlanta, we brace ourselves for the injury and crash statistics after holidays. The Georgia State Patrol reported 12 total fatalities over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend which traditionally begins on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and ends on the Monday after. Overall, there were nearly 300 accidents that caused injuries with an overall motor vehicle crash count at over 600. The good news is that fewer resulted in fatality than last year — from 20 last year, to 12 this year. Only one local fatal accident was reported statewide, which tragically occurred in Gwinnett County.
The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that more people lost their lives on our roads and highways in 2016 than in 2015. Over 350 fatal alcohol related accidents occurred in Georgia last year. As we approach the end of 2017, we are mindful that the upcoming weeks are among the most dangerous for motor vehicle crashes. Although most states around the country increase enforcement over the holiday season, driving over the holidays can result in accident or injury. The increased enforcement is intended to save lives, by taking impaired or aggressive drivers off the roads before they cause tragedy or loss of life. This can save lives of course. But every holiday season we learn about tragic circumstances that involve drivers who are distracted or under the influence.
Those who have been arrested or convicted of driving under the influence have a greater likelihood of doing this again. The period between Christmas and New Year’s day is a time to be cautious about the potential that drivers around you have been drinking and may be impaired. On average, during this time frame about 300 fatalities have occurred in past years. Our federal and state agencies take the lead over this period to remind drivers of the dangers of impaired driving.
For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has again launched its Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over efforts for 2017. The effort includes some very dramatic ads that demonstrate the heartbreak that can result from impaired driving. This same increased law enforcement program is also part of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety efforts over the holidays. The goal of this program is to first remind drivers of the consequences of drinking and driving and to avoid them getting on the road at all. These governmental efforts are supported on the roads where you will see the increased patrolling and more law enforcement stepping up stops and arrests for impaired driving.
As always, we hope that all our readers will enjoy a safe holiday season. To ensure this, there are some things you can do to avoid accident or injury. Create a plan before you go off to holiday parties. Either designate a driver or leave the car at home and use public transport, a taxi or ride service. The “Drive Sober, Georgia” app can also help you find a ride. If you see that someone in your party should not drive, remove their keys and get them a ride. You could well save a life doing this. During this time frame, the ride services are very aware of their importance in helping keep partygoers, and those on the roads, safe and sound.
Scholle Law wishes to express our best to all over this holiday season and a wonderful New Year in 2018. We are grateful to be a part of the vibrant Atlanta community. We are also grateful and proud to serve our clients with care and skill after an accident or injury.