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Highway Accident Fatalities across U.S. Are at Lowest Levels in Decades

Last year, the number of deaths in highway accidents across the Georgia and the U.S. dropped to approximately 9% lower than in 2008. That heartwarming news comes to us via the Department of Transportation which has just released data into highway fatalities for 2009. According to the D.O.T., last year, there were 33,963 deaths in highway accidents across the country.

Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood says that three factors have been responsible for the declining death rates.
1. The rates of seatbelt use have increased tremendously.
2. Automobiles today are much safer and do a far better job of keeping motorists and occupants safer.
3. Stronger law enforcement efforts have contributed to a decline in drunk driving accident rates over the past few years.

While these factors certainly have contributed to a decrease of car accidents nation-wide, a lot of car accidents continue to happen in the Atlanta, Georgia area due to driver error, inattentive driving, faulty or improperly maintained equipment on the cars such as brakes and steering, unsafe road conditions, falling objects that are being transported on the interstate by truckers, and many others.


As an Atlanta car accident lawyer, I have been concerned about some of Georgia’s laws that likely contribute to higher death rates for our motorists. For instance, our state continues to be one of the few in the country that has no mandated seatbelt laws for all. Georgia’s laws require all motorists to be buckled up, except for pickup drivers. There have been efforts to pass laws that require pickup drivers to buckle up like the rest of us, but these efforts have met with little success. There is no reason why pickup truck drivers should be exempted from following a rule that will ultimately help keep them safe and alive in a collision.

As an accident lawyer in Atlanta, I would also like to see stricter laws against texting while driving in Georgia. There have been enough studies to show the detrimental effect that texting while driving can have on a motorist’s concentration. Yet Georgia has made little progress towards passing and implementing such laws.

A total of 33,963 deaths might be a drop from the previous year, but as far as I’m concerned, it is 33,963 fatalities too many. In Georgia, we could be doing a lot more to bring our accident fatality rates down. All it requires is for our lawmakers to be a little more farsighted and aggressive about safety.

Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.