Georgia's Most Dangerous Places to Drive
Georgia is a beautiful state with abundant natural resources and much to recommend it. It cannot be denied, however, that Georgia sees its fair share of serious car accidents, and some locations are more dangerous than others – according to national statistics. If you or someone you love has been injured by another driver’s negligence, the best course of action is to consult with an experienced Georgia car accident attorney early in the process.
The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) in-depth, five-year study dives into exactly where fatal accidents are most likely to happen throughout the State of Georgia, and the findings are enlightening.
NHTSA shares the following regarding the Georgia counties that experienced the most fatalities over the five years from 2016 to 2020 – ranked according to the death rates experienced in 2020:
- Fulton County saw the most fatalities by far, and 2020 topped the list with 145 deaths, which accounted for 9 percent of total traffic fatalities in the state that year.
- Dekalb County ranked second in the state, and its deadliest year was 2018, with 108 deaths. Over the five years involved, Dekalb County accounted for between 5 and 7 percent of the total traffic fatalities.
- Cobb County was third in line, and it saw the most fatalities in 2020, with 85 deaths. Over the five years involved, Cobb County accounted for between 3 and 5 percent of the total traffic fatalities in the State of Georgia.
- Gwinnett County ranked fourth, and 2017 was its deadliest year – with 66 fatalities. From 2016 to 2019, Gwinnett County accounted for 4 percent of the total traffic fatalities in Georgia, and in 2020, it accounted for 3 percent.
- Clayton County came in at the fifth position, and its deadliest year was 2019, with 51 traffic deaths. Other than in 2017, Clayton County accounted for 3 percent of the total traffic fatalities in the state – accounting for 2 percent in 2017.
- Chatham County is sixth in line, and it accounted for 2 percent of the state’s total traffic fatalities for every year other than 2016 – when it accounted for 3 percent.
- Bibb County is next, accounting for 2 percent of all traffic fatalities across the board.
- Liberty County took the eighth spot, and it accounted for 1 percent of the total traffic deaths in 2016, 2017, and 2019 – for 0 percent in 2018 – and 2 percent in 2022.
The degree to which the top-ranking counties’ fatality rates changed from one year to the next – in terms of percentages – helps to round out the statistics that pinpoint the most dangerous places to drive in Georgia. Consider the following:
- Fulton County’s fatality rate decreased by a full 12 percent in 2017 but saw increases of 14, 10, and 1 percent in the three subsequent years.
- Dekalb County’s fatality rate rose by 19 percent in 2017, 14 percent in 2018, and 16 percent in 2020. On a more hopeful note, traffic fatalities decreased by 27 percent in 2019.
- Cobb County’s traffic fatality rate decreased by 10 percent in 2017, but every year thereafter, it increased by 8, 18, and 27 percent, respectively.
- Gwinnett County’s traffic fatality rate decreased every year except for 2017, which saw an 8 percent increase. From 2018 to 2020, the death rate decreased by 6, 2, and 7 percent, respectively.
- The traffic fatality rate in Clayton County plummeted by 33 percent in 2017 but rose by a dramatic 41 percent in 2018 and another 13 percent in 2019. In 2020, the rate dipped again by 4 percent.
- Chatham County’s traffic fatality rates are all over the board. They dropped by a considerable 24 percent in 2017, rose by 28 percent in 2018, took another dip of 19 percent in 2019, and rose by 13 percent in 2020.
- Bibb County shot up by 21 percent in 2017, saw small decreases in both 2018 and 2020 and increased by 6 percent in 2019.
- Liberty County saw the largest increase and the largest decrease of all the contenders for most dangerous places to drive in Georgia. In 2018, the traffic fatality rate fell by 50 percent, but in 2020, it rose by a full 300 percent. 2017 saw another major spike of 75 percent, while 2019 rose by a more modest 14 percent (relatively speaking).
Things look somewhat different when it comes to traffic fatality rates per 100,000 people. Consider the following:
- Taliaferro County took top billing with consistent numbers in the low to mid-60s per 100,000 people for each of the five years studied – except for an immense jump in deaths in 2018, with 310 traffic fatalities, and another jump in 2020, with 192 traffic deaths.
- Baker County ranked second with numbers in the low 60s per 100,00 people across the board, except for the surprising absence of traffic deaths in 2018 and the 100 fatalities in 2020.
- Coming in third, Macon County lost nearly 15 people per 100,000 in 2016, 44 in 2017, 11 in 2018, 67 in 2019, and 94 in 2020.
- Wilkinson County took the fourth position with 55 deaths per 100,00 people in 2016, nearly 45 in 2017, 11 in 2018, 67 in 2019, and 79 in 2020.
- In the fifth spot, Warren County experienced 93 deaths per 100,00 people in 2016, 57 in 2017, 38 in 2018, and 76 in both 2019 and 2020.
- Glascock County came in sixth, and it experienced 67 deaths per 100,000 people in 2016, 0 deaths in both 2017 and 2019, 33 deaths in 2018, and 67 deaths in 2020.
- Lincoln County, coming in seventh, had 25 traffic deaths per 100,000 people in 2016, 0 deaths in 2017, 25 in 2018, and 12 in 2019. In 2020, they experienced as many deaths as the other four years combined, with a total of 62.
- Seminole County ranked eighth and had 47 total traffic deaths per 100,000 people in 2016, 0 in 2017, 72 in 2018, nearly 23 in 2019, and 62 in 2020.
Traffic Accidents Are Often Caused by Driver Negligence
The vast majority of fatal traffic accidents on Georgia’s roads are caused by driver negligence in one form or another. Motorists who fail to make driving safely their top priority leave our roads more dangerous for all who travel on them.
Safe drivers pay attention to the road ahead and to the traffic moving in all directions around them, and they put their distractions away. NHTSA reports that 3,142 people lost their lives to distracted drivers in 2020 alone, and they call texting the most alarming distraction of all. It takes about 5 seconds on average to engage in a text behind the wheel, and in that time, a motorist who is driving at highway speeds can travel the entire length of a football field. Distractions can engage our hands, our sight, or our thoughts, and texting manages to do all three.
When motorists choose to exceed the posted speed limit or to drive too fast in relation to the road’s condition, they greatly increase the risk that they’ll cause traffic accidents, and they greatly increase the risk that those accidents will prove fatal. Excess speed plays far too significant a role in every category of traffic accident statistic.
Exhausted drivers experience impairments that are not dissimilar to those that impaired drivers face, which makes drowsy driving an exceptionally dangerous practice. Drowsy drivers have a more difficult time paying attention to the road ahead and controlling their vehicles safely – in addition to making poorer decisions generally.
Drunk drivers know how unsafe impaired driving is, but they continue to engage in the practice nonetheless. NHTSA reports all the following sobering statistics regarding impaired drivers:
- In the United States, someone is killed every 45 minutes in a drunk-driving accident.
- 11,654 people died in drunk driving accidents in 2020 alone.
- 2020 saw a 14 percent jump in impaired driving fatalities over 2019.
Drunk drivers pose far too great a risk on roadways throughout the State of Georgia.
Aggressive drivers are well known for engaging in multiple dangerous driving practices during any given outing. Some of the hallmarks of aggressive driving include:
- Immense speed
- Zipping in and out of lanes
- Attempting to engage other motorists with taunts, obscene gestures, and worse
- Refusing to yield the right-of-way
- Passing dangerously
It’s Time to Consult with an Experienced Georgia Car Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love has been injured by another motorist’s negligence, the formidable Georgia car accident attorneys at Spaulding Injury Law are poised to employ the full strength of their impressive experience and legal insight in pursuit of your claim’s best possible resolution.
Your claim – and your recovery – are important, so please don’t put off scheduling your free case evaluation by contacting us online or calling us at 770-744-0890 today. Our skilled legal team is ready to assess and protect your rights as a car accident victim.