Death By Car Accident: A Growing Epidemic in Georgia and the US

Badly wrecked car from a serious accident that killed the driver

It’s hard to imagine life without cars. Though cars are typically the most convenient method of transportation for Americans, car safety has actually worsened since the birth of Ford’s Model T. This past July, The Washington Post reported startling data: in the past 19 years, more Americans have died in car accidents than U.S. soldiers perished in both WWI and WWII. The advent of air bags and other precautions may have resulted in safer automobiles, but negligence and recklessness among drivers continue to result in fatalities.

The Types of Car Crashes That Result in Death

The Washington Post article highlighted several driver behaviors that led to the most deaths. The most dangerous acts included:

  • DUI Accidents: 213,000 deaths from 2000-2017
  • Speeding: 197,000 fatalities
  • Distracted Driving (such as cell phone use): 78,000 fatalities
  • Driving While Sleepy/Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel: Over 10,000 deaths since 2005

All of these acts are violations of the rules of the road and are considered negligence under Georgia law. Because the driver showed a disregard for the safety of others while he or she was driving, his or her behavior allows the victim’s family to pursue wrongful death claims which permit recovery for the full value of the life of the decedent.

While no amount of money can replace the loss of a loved one, it can restore the financial burden of the surviving family members. Compensation in these car accident lawsuits may include pain and suffering, funeral expenses, medical costs, etc. Punitive damages are also authorized to punish particularly reckless or dangerous drivers such as those who are DUI.  

A Closer Look at Georgia Car Accident Statistics

Patch News reported that Georgia ranked 14th nationally for fatal car wrecks. Based on a national study of statistics from 2016, the article identified that there were over 1,500 deaths in auto accidents that year alone. Breaking down the deaths in 2016, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety provided the following data to identify the causes of the accidents:

  • 368 deaths were from drunk driving
  • 266 of the fatalities were caused by speeding
  • 179 of the deaths resulted from truck accidents

The Georgia Governor’s data did not track the data for distracted driving in 2016. The site, however, has a page devoted to the topic and explains how the Georgia legislature is trying to end this crisis by imposing harsher penalties for cell phone use and texting while driving, which has since become illegal.

If Tragedy Strikes, Banks, Stubbs & McFarland is Here to Help

The Georgia law firm of Banks, Stubbs & McFarland urges Georgia drivers to take better care when driving. Put down the cell phone. Call for an Uber. Rest before driving. Obey the speed limits.

If, however, you suffer a loss from these all too common car wrecks, give our team a call. We want to help you get your life restored.