New research may provide Georgia drivers with insight into how to avoid car accidents. By learning the areas in which accidents are most likely to occur, and how to reduce the severity of injuries resulting from a collision, drivers can reduce the likelihood of being seriously injured in a car accident.
When accidents do occur, an experienced Georgia car accident attorney will work to hold negligent drivers accountable – not just for the benefit of the client, but also for the future safety of all road users.
Why Rural Accidents Are More Likely to Be Fatal
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently studied accidents rates in rural areas of the United States as compared to urban areas. Ultimately, the CDC found that only 19 percent of the population of the United States lived in rural areas in 2015, yet nearly 60 percent of motor vehicle deaths reported that year occurred on rural roads.
The number of crashes in urban areas was found to be higher, but rural accidents were far more likely to cause fatal injuries. The researchers investigated the causes of this findings.
Ultimately, the fatality of traffic accidents found to be related to seat belt use, which was highest in urban counties and lowest in rural counties. Seatbelt use was also higher in primary enforcement states (in which failure to use a seatbelt is a separate offense for which an officer may stop and cite a driver) than secondary enforcement states (in which an officer may only cite a driver for failure to use a seatbelt after another violation has been observed).
How Georgia Drivers Can Prevent Car Accidents and Reduce the Extent of Injuries
In addition to lack of seat belt use, speeding is also a significant predictor of fatal injuries. Speeding is also more likely to occur on rural roads with fewer speeding enforcement mechanisms.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information published a longitudinal review of studies which measured the efficacy of automated enforcement technology programs. Of 28 studies reviewed, every single one reported a lower number of crashes after implementation of a speed enforcement technology program. Bloomberg reports that such technologies are widely acknowledged to be an effective deterrent to speeding, but that they are currently only used in fourteen states and the District of Columbia. Their efficacy has caused the National Transportation Safety Board to recommend that states remove laws which prohibit the use of such technologies.
Reducing speed is more than a simple safety precaution. It is also a legal obligation under state law. Section 40-6-180 of the Georgia Code prohibits drivers from traveling at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard for the actual and potential hazards then existing. Violation of this statute subjects a driver to not just a traffic citation, but civil liability, as well.
A driver who violates a traffic statute will generally be found legally responsible for any accident that occurs as a result. Liability also means the driver is legally obligated to compensate all injury victims for their financial losses.
An experienced Georgia car accident attorney can help if you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident. You may be able to recover damages for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.