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Marietta Motor Vehicle Accidents Law Blog

Georgia sees spike in pedestrian fatalities

With what may have felt like a crazy winter to many people in Georgia, spring has finally begun to arrive. This often encourages more people to be outside and enjoying the temperate weather before the heat and humidity of summer sets in. While this can be good for people's health, especially if they are active when outside, it can also be dangerous to their health when they must be on roads or sidewalks next to vehicles. 

According to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2017 was a particularly deadly year for pedestrians in Georgia. With 253 fatalities that year alone, it recorded more pedestrian deaths in the state in at least a decade. In 2016, there were 232 pedestrians killed and in 2015, another 194 people on foot lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents.

Crash sends three to hospital, kills unborn baby

For residents in Georgia, the tragedy associated with many motor vehicle accidents can be hard to accept. Too often, innocent people end up spending the rest of their lives dealing with injuries or disabilities that forever changed the course of their lives because of some reckless choice made by another driver. In other situations, friends and family members are forced to work through the loss of a loved one due to the negligent actions of another person. 

The reasons for these type of situations vary and may include things like driving with excessive speed or driving after drinking alcohol or after using drugs. In some situations, it may not be quite so clear as to what makes a driver choose to take a particular action. Maybe someone feels like they are in such a hurry that they cannot appropriately yield the right of way to another driver.

How to spot the signs of an aggressive driver

If you are like many other drivers, you may get frustrated when stuck in traffic or struggling to get to work on time. Your anger may settle anywhere from mild to infuriated and may rise from slightly frustrated to enraged in a matter of minutes. Problems occur, however, when angry motorists engage in dangerous driving habits that threaten other motorists and people on the road. Road rage is a serious problem in the United States, as the National Safety Council reports one in three people admit to engaging in aggressive driving behaviors. It is crucial that you are on the lookout for these behaviors, so you can keep yourself safe on the road and possibly avoid becoming the victim of a car accident.

According to the NSC, some common aggressive driving behaviors include the following:

  •          Speeding and weaving between vehicles
  •          Tailgating or driving too closely behind another car
  •          Excessive horn honking
  •          Using profanities or obscene hand gestures
  •          Failing to yield to other drivers’ right of way
  •          Running stop lights and failing to obey traffic signs

Bleckley County truck crash highlights shoulder dangers

Large trucks can be dangerous to encounter in any type of traffic, but they are especially hazardous on freeways and interstates, where speed, distractions, visibility and weather can play a part in endangering the lives of Georgia residents. Drivers may not realize the extreme danger trucks can pose when they pull over at the side of the road in an emergency or to assist someone else.

Tragically, an accident that occurred this February on Interstate 16 in Bleckley County illustrates this point. According to the Macon Telegraph, two friends of an ambulance driver, who had become stranded at the side of the highway, pulled over to deliver fuel. After pulling away, their vehicle was hit from behind by a big rig, which propelled the smaller car into the ambulance, then under the tractor trailer. The ambulance driver’s friends, who were 21 and 22 years old, were killed. Authorities are still investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident.

The controversy surrounding electronic logging devices

Residents who live in Georgia should have the right to feel safe when sharing the road or highway with a large commercial vehicle. They deserve to know that truckers are properly trained on how to safely operate their rigs. Part of this safe operation includes knowing when to take a break to avoid becoming fatigued while driving. 

Business Insider explains that trucker fatigue has become something of a controversial topic in the last few years. For starters, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted its Hours of Service rule that restricts the number of hours a driver can work or drive in a single day. It also outlines specific requirements for daily and workweek breaks.

Potential dangers of driver assist technologies

Residents in Georgia have no doubt heard much discussion about self-driving cars in the past few years. The development of these vehicles has been a source of debate as some laud autonomous cars with the ability to reduce or even eliminate traffic accidents and fatalities while others allege that these vehicles are not fully safe. While fully autonomous vehicles are not yet the norm on the roads today, it is increasingly common for new cars to come equipped with a variety of self-driving or driver assist technologies.

These autonomous driving features in human-driven cars are supposed to enhance safety but they may actually have the opposite effect in some cases. As explained by ABC News, many of the features that are designed to provide warnings to drivers may actually make the drivers lazy in a way, allowing them to focus less on driving or the traffic and roads around them.

Parking with hazardous materials

Businesses, communities and individuals in Marietta often utilize certain materials that, regardless of the apparent mundaneness of the tasks they support, would technically qualify as being hazardous. Thus, the need for such materials to accessible means that they must also be transportable. Yet transporting hazardous materials can be a dangerous job, as evidenced by the statistics shared by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration that show that over 20,000 incidents related to the transport of these materials happened in 2018 alone (causing over $70 million in damage). Of those nearly 650 were due to accidents that occurred simply during the storage of materials in transit. 

One might think that stored materials (even those being transported) would be safe, yet simple human error can often lead to incidents that can be catastrophic in their scope. Even something as simple as parking in the wrong place (with hazardous materials in tow) can present a risk. For this reason, safety regulations have been created directing where hazardous material drivers can park when not in transit. 

Detailing the dangers of drowsy driving

Many in Marietta may fall into the trap of thinking that the actions that can lead to potentially dangerous driving are very well-defined. By avoiding speeding, as well as not driving after having consumed alcohol or while using a cell phone, they may believe that they will always be safe behind the wheel. There are many other elements, however, that go into driving dangerously, many of which are seemingly mundane actions (or inactions) that go into daily living. One of the more common driving while drowsy. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that as many as 72,000 crashes in the U.S. are attributed to drowsy driving annually. When one is drowsy behind the wheel, their physical capabilities can often be limited to the same extent as one who is intoxicated. Their depressed awareness (caused by their drowsiness) can make it difficult to maintain control of their vehicles, and also limit their response time if they need to act in order to avoid a collision. 

Wrong-way driver causes fatal accident involving school bus

When a semi-truck is involved in a collision with another vehicle in Georgia, the aftermath is often violent and deadly. Semi-trucks are incredibly large and as such, they are much heavier than a typical road vehicle. Additionally, they take much longer to slow down and the impact with which they collide with another vehicle can be deadly. 

In a recent truck accident in central Illinois, a community is mourning the loss of an elderly school volunteer who was aboard a school bus that was struck by the semi-truck who was presumably traveling in the wrong direction. The school bus was carrying a girl's high school basketball team when it encountered the truck coming toward it. Unable to avoid the collision, the two vehicles collided and injured several students, as well as the bus driver who sustained multiple broken bones. The truck's driver was also killed in the accident as a result of blunt force trauma. 

Teen killed, 3 others injured in Cherokee County crash

It may be rare to see a case where passengers traveling in a vehicle on Marietta's roads are not familiar with its driver. People may tend to be forgiving of their acquaintances' mistakes, preferring instead to be supportive and willing to help them work through things. However, there may be times when the consequences of a friend's decision are so great that those affected by them have little choice but to seek action. Even in cases where it is shown that a friend may have been negligent, the decision to hold them accountable may not be any easier. 

The family of a Cherokee County teen may soon be facing just such a decision. The young man was killed when the car carrying himself and three friends lost control, left the road and struck a tree. The driver of the vehicle and another passenger were also seriously injured in the accident; the third passenger escaped with only minor injuries. Authorities have yet to conclude their investigation into the crash, yet they feel confident enough in some aspects to say that excessive speed certainly played a factor. 

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