On an average day, 2394 people are involved in car wrecks in Georgia. In an average week, 2500 people are injured in those Georgia car accidents. Every single week, an average 31 people die in car accidents on Georgia roads.
I am a Newton County car accident lawyer, Atlanta car wreck lawyer, and auto wreck lawyer for cases all over Georgia. So I am used to hearing more about Georgia car wrecks than the average Georgian would. But still, I was absolutely astonished by these numbers, which came from a comprehensive report on motor vehicle accidents that the Georgia Department of Transportation ("GA DOT") issued in 2008, Crash Statistics, Analysis and Information Notebook 2008.
Every single day, 2394 are in a car wreck in Georgia? And every week, 2500 people are injured in a car accident in Georgia? Seriously?? But most surprising - and disturbing --to me was that 31 people die every week on Georgia's roads.
The 2008 GA DOT report.pdf covered the years 2000 to 2006. According to the report, in those seven years, 6,000,000 people were involved motor vehicle crashes as either a driver or a pedestrian. In those auto crashes, 1,000,000 people were injured. A tragic 11,435 people died in a car accident in Georgia.
For purposes of the report, the Georgia DOT divides Georgia into four regions: metro Atlanta, suburban Atlanta, other metropolitan Georgia areas, and rural Georgia. GA DOT designated the non-Atlanta metropolitan Georgia areas to be those areas around Albany and Leesburg, Athens, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, and Savannah, and the area of north Georgia that is near Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Georgia DOT designated Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties as "metro Atlanta". Barrow, Bartow, Carroll, Cherokee, Coweta, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Henry, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Rockdale, Spalding and Walton counties were designated as "suburban Atlanta counties." Rural Georgia was "all other counties." (And in Georgia we have 159 counties, so you can see from the numbers of counties that were listed that the vast majority of Georgia was considered to be rural for purposes of the report.)
In an earlier blog entry, Seriously? Are Car Accidents Really More Dangerous in Georgia's Rural Counties, I wrote about a very startling fact from DOT: car crashes on rural roads in Georgia were far more likely to be fatal car accidents. In Georgia cities. "Twice as many people are killed in crashes in rural Georgia counties as are killed in the five metropolitan Atlanta counties." Apparently we are more likely to see car wrecks in rural Georgia because metro Atlanta drivers, and drivers in cities generally, are slowed significantly by all of the traffic. Thus, while they are more likely to be in car accidents, Metro Atlantans and other city dwellers have their wrecks at a lower speed than people in rural counties do.
The report also suggested that rural Georgia counties may have a higher rate of car accidents because of the differences between the types of roads built in rural Georgia and the types of highways and other roadways built in more populous cities around Georgia. I will discuss more about these differences in my next blog entry.