Georgia Car Accidents: No Good, Just the Bad and the Ugly

March 26, 2012

Pickup truck.jpgI write this blog for my car accident law firm in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2008, the Georgia Department of Transportation ("GA DOT") published a comprehensive report, Crash Analysis, Statistics and Information Notebook 2008 that analyzes Georgia car crashes between 2000 to 2006.

The GA DOT report, 2008 GA DOT report.pdf, breaks the car accidents down by various categories, and it had some very interesting things to say about Georgia pickup truck wrecks, motorcycle wrecks in Georgia, and Georgia tractor-trailer accidents.

Georgia Pickup Truck Wrecks. The GA DOT report had some bad news for pickup truck drivers. Pickup crashes were more likely to be fatal. In fact, a person involved in a Georgia car accident involving a pickup truck was almost twice as likely to die as a person who was in an automobile. Very surprisingly, 1 of 3 fatalities in car wrecks in Georgia happened in a crash involving a pickup truck.

The report suggests a couple of reasons why pickup truck crashes are more likely to cause deaths. First, a large number of these pickup truck wrecks occur on rural roads. In fact, 60% of the rollover crashes involving pickup trucks occur on these rural Georgia roadways. The report explains that rollover crashes are more dangerous in general, as are crashes on rural, two-lane roads without a median or barrier. Second, the adult occupants of the pickup trucks are less likely to wear their seat belts than the adult occupants of passenger cars and sport utility vehicles ("SUVs). Fatal crashes in pickup trucks are increasing, too. The number of truck accidents increased by 17% from 2000 to 2006, and by 5.7% even after the figures are adjusted to take into account an increase in the number of vehicles registered in Georgia.

Georgia Tractor-Trailers and Large Truck Accidents. When a large truck, such as a tractor-trailer or 18-wheeler has a collision with an automobile, SUV or even pickup trucks, it is no surprise which one comes out the biggest loser. 270 people died in crashes involving at least one large tractor-trailer or semi-truck, and 86.3% of those were in the smaller vehicle.

Georgia Motorcycle Wrecks. Motorcycle crashes were twelve times more likely to be fatal than wrecks involving passenger cars. While 16% of people in crashes in passenger cars either received personal injuries or were killed, a tragic 72% of motorcyclists were either personally injured or killed in wrecks. Almost 1/3 of these motorcycle accidents occurred in rural counties. Unfortunately, fatalities in motorcycle crashes appear to be on the rise. The Georgia motorcycle fatal crash rate was up 60.8% during the period from 2000 to 2006. Oddly, fatalities in motorcycle wrecks have increased by much more for middle age and older drivers. While the death rate for motorcyclists under 40 increased by 117.1%, the death rate for motorcycle drivers who were over age 39 increased by 254.6%.

Georgia Fatalities in Car Wrecks. On average, 5 people die in car accidents on Georgia roads every day. Whereas fatalities were in the range of 1500 a year in the 1990's, that number increased to more than 1700 in 2005 and 2006.

I have written several entries on what the GA DOT has found. Their findings are of interest to all Georgia drivers, and even more particularly to drivers actually in accidents, be they drivers seriously injured in tractor-trailer accidents in McDonough along I-75, or motorcyclists thrown from their motorcycles.

For an overview of the findings by the Georgia DOT in its report, see my entry from October 10, 2011, The Sad, Sad Truth: Car Wrecks in Georgia, By the (Very Depressing) Numbers.