Serious car accidents in Georgia bring heavy personal, financial losses

Injury-causing car accidents take a heavy toll both personally and financially.

If you have ever been involved in a serious car accident, you know how devastating they can be. Car accidents not only result in physical harm and property damage, they can dramatically impact a person's entire life, particularly if there is head trauma, spinal cord damage or other catastrophic injuries.

According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA), about 34,000 people die in auto accidents each year, and more than two million more are injured. When that data is extrapolated out, it means that someone is injured in a car accident somewhere in America every 14 seconds.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, in Georgia alone, motor vehicle crashes result in $1.55 billion in costs annually, consisting of both direct costs (like medical bills, funeral expenses and property damage) and indirect costs like lost wages and lost productivity while the injured recover. The great majority of these expenses - $655 million - are incurred by young adults (between the ages of 20 and 34). This demographic also typically has the highest overall accident rates, and the highest number of crashes caused by distracted driving.

Why accidents happen

When analyzing data involving the true costs associated with car accidents, it is important to also understand why accidents happen and ways in which they can be prevented. While no two car accidents are exactly alike, there are some causes that are frequently found, including:

  • Distracted driving (texting, talking on a cellphone, reading, checking email, eating, programming a GPS device, etc. while behind the wheel)
  • Speeding
  • Failing to account for changes in weather, traffic or roadway conditions
  • Reckless or aggressive driving
  • Failing to obey traffic control signals, signs and devices
  • Drunk driving/driving under the influence

Slowing the tide of accidents

Sadly, there are millions of car accidents each year, but there are ways in which state and local governments, law enforcement agencies and individual drivers can try to prevent them.

For example, studies have shown that there are fewer distracted driving-related accidents when there are laws that prohibit the use of any electronic devices behind the wheel and give police the authority to pull over drivers solely for violating such a provision (thus making distracted driving what is known in legal terms as a "primary offense").

In addition, states that require those convicted of driving under the influence to install ignition interlock systems have seen a drop in accidents caused by drunk drivers. Furthermore, demonstrating a jurisdiction-wide law enforcement commitment to catching those who speed or drive recklessly has been shown to be a deterrent to drivers who may have been tempted to operate their own vehicles in such a manner.

Regardless of how careful you may be, you could still be involved in an accident due to the negligent, reckless or careless actions of another driver. If you have been injured in a Georgia car wreck, seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney like Tracy Teiger to learn more about options you may have to hold the at-fault driver responsible for the physical, mental and financial harms you have suffered.

Keywords: car accident, auto accident, motor vehicle accident, crash, wreck, collision, distracted driving, medical bills

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