What Are the Leading Causes of Car Accidents in the U.S. and Georgia?

Obviously and unfortunately, car accidents commonly occur here in the U.S. Even more unfortunate, research has shown that these accidents are mostly due to human error. The frequency of car accidents in America is alarming as we have roughly 3 Million people injured (non-fatal) each year due to car accidents. The easiest way to avoid being involved in an accident is to focus first on your own driving habits and behaviors. It’s important to practice safe driving while following all traffic laws to reduce your chances of being involved in one. The following are the leading causes to Auto Accidents across the United States:

  1. Distracted Driving: When engaged in any other activity that takes your attention away from driving you are engaged in distracted driving. Nowadays, we most commonly associate a distracted driver as someone using his/her cell phone while operating his/her vehicle. Nevertheless, other common examples include use of your radio or GPS/Navigation System, eating, applying makeup, or talking with passengers (especially kids in the back seats). A recent study done in 2018 concluded that 2,800 people were killed in an auto accident involving a distracted driver while 400,000 people were injured. All of which accidents were preventable if the driver would have just been focused on driving solely. July 01, 2018, the O.C.G.A. 40-6-241(c), also known as The Hands-Free Law, was put into effect to help reduce the heavily weighted issue of distracted driving in Georgia; this law prohibits ANY driver from having a cell phone in his/her hand while operating a vehicle.
    • a. Georgia: From 2006 to 2016 the rates for auto accidents that involve distracted driving have increased nearly 400%. For example, in 2016, Georgia reported 25,215 accidents involving distracted driving whereas in 2006 Georgia reported only 5,784. Two major obvious factors for this sharp increase include a higher total population in Georgia meaning more people on the roads, and the increased prevalence of cell phones.

  2. Drunk Driving: Georgia Law defines drunk driving/Driving Under the Influence (DUI) as someone operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol/drugs with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) level above the federal legal limit of 0.08 (for drivers 21 years and older), .02 for drivers under the age of 21, and 0.03 for drivers with a CDL in the United States. In 2018, studies sadly reported that 10,511 deaths caused by auto accidents were as a result of driving under the influence. The BAC is determined by Weight and consumption of Alcohol.
    • a. Georgia: In 2018, studies found Georgia to have 375 auto accident deaths involving a driver under the influence of Alcohol.

  3. Speeding: Georgia law defines speeding as driving a vehicle faster than the posted maximum speed (O.C.G.A. 40-6-181); please note that this Georgia Statute does not state a certain speed over the posted speed limit, but defines speeding as merely driving a vehicle faster than the posted speed limit. Driving at speeds higher than the posted limits reduces your reaction/braking time while increasing the possibility of losing control of your vehicle. You are 3 times as likely to have serious injury or death in a high-speed accident than you are in other crashes. Speeding killed 9,378 drivers in 2018 all over the U.S.
    • a. Georgia: In 2018, there were 266 fatalities that were a result of an auto accident involving speeding.
      • i. O.C.G.A. 40-6-189 (Georgia Super Speeder Law): In 2010 GA passed a new law that holds all Georgia drivers and all out of state motorist driving through Georgia liable for higher penalties if ticketed for speeding and driving at 75 MPH or above on a 2 lane highway or 85 MPH or above on a 4 lane or more highway. If the fees are not paid, it could result in a suspension of the driver’s license.
        • 1. Depending on the circumstance, those found driving at excessive speeds could be charged with reckless driving (O.C.G.A 40-6-390). If a driver faces charges of reckless driving which results in serious bodily injury or death, then, upon conviction, he/she will face more serious criminal charges and/or higher fines.

    Of course, accidents occur for a myriad of reasons, but the above listed causes of accidents represent the most common causes of accidents. Though you cannot prevent what other drivers do, you can help keep the roads safer by practicing safe driving skills each time you get behind the wheel.

    In case you are involved in an accident, please do not hesitate to call us for a free consultation here at the Larrison Law Firm. My staff and I would be happy to set up a time to discuss the details of your individual case and needs. Give us a call at 770-554-8100 or visit us at larrisonlawfirm.com. We have locations in both Loganville and Athens.