The holidays are always a dangerous time for drivers because there are more people on the road and because far too many people have a few celebratory drinks and get behind the wheel. While police always make extra enforcement efforts over the holiday season to stop drunk and dangerous drivers, this year Georgia is placing even more emphasis on the importance of safe driving.
Our Atlanta car accident attorneys want to remind drivers of the increased dangers of holiday driving. We also want to urge drivers to stay safe, avoid drinking and driving and do everything possible to get through the holiday season without becoming the victim of a car wreck. With Georgia on track to have more accident fatalities this year than last, exercising caution is essential to staying safe.
Georgia On Track to Increase Accident Fatalities
According to WSAV3, law enforcement has made it a priority in recent years to enforce zero tolerance policies in an attempt to prevent drunk driving accidents over the holidays. This season, however, WSAV3 reports that there is an increased sense of urgency when it comes to preventing holiday crashes. Preventing accidents is especially important this year because the state is on track to have an increase in traffic accidents in 2012. This increase is the first time in six years that the number of auto accident deaths has increased.
According to the current data on car accidents in Georgia, if fatalities continue to occur in the state at the current rate, Georgia traffic accident deaths will exceed the 2011 rate of 1,226 car accident deaths. To prevent this from occurring, the Governor's Office of Highway Safety Patrol (GOHS) is taking extra measures to prevent holiday crashes.
In addition to their normal zero tolerance rules and increased police presence on key holidays, GOHS has also launched a public campaign called Operation Safe Holidays. The purpose is to remind drivers to be safe and not to drink and drive.
Staying Safe Over the Holidays
The increased risk of holiday auto accidents normally extends from the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving straight through until January 2, with Thanksgiving eve and New Years Eve among the most dangerous days. During these key holiday times and throughout the holiday season, motorists should follow these safe driving tips:
- Don't go faster than it is safe to go given the current conditions. In some cases, you may even need to drive below the speed limit if the weather is bad or if there is lots of traffic. So you aren't tempted to speed, leave your home early with plenty of time to get to your destination even taking into account holiday traffic.
- Don't drive if you are too tired. If you are going to be traveling for long distances to vacation or see family, switch off on the driving or take rest breaks so you do not become fatigued.
- Take a designated driver with you every time you go out. If you are with friends, don't let them drink and drive. Parents should also remind teens that they can call for a ride at any time rather than get into a car with a drunk driver.
By following these safety tips and paying attention to the Operation Safe Holidays campaign, you can hopefully stay safe and avoid a devastating car accident over the holidays.
If you have been injured in an Atlanta car accident, contact Gary Martin Hays & Associates at 1-800-898-HAYS.