This blog entry is about really bad facts. Depressing facts. But maybe, just maybe - facts that will make us take more precautions, drive more slowly, and change how Georgians drive over this Christmas holiday.
I am a Georgia car wreck lawyer, and I am using my blog to talk about how, when and where Christmas holiday accidents happened here in Georgia. An astonishing 25 people died in Christmas holiday car wrecks here in Georgia in 2008. For this entry I am going to talk about how, when and where these Christmas holiday accidents. (If the data seems dated, there is an unfortunate reason for it. The information comes from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) database that is maintained by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The database is invaluable, but it is inevitably behind.)
One common misconception among many Georgians is that unless you live in Atlanta, you probably do not have to worry a great deal about personal injuries or deaths from car wrecks. Unfortunately, the truth is that the rate of fatalities is higher in rural counties than in urban counties, apparently because all that Atlanta traffic slows drivers down.
In order to help Georgians get ready for a safer Christmas, we have got to dispel the notion that car wrecks, personal injuries and deaths from car crashes are things that happen only in Atlanta. In 2008, the Christmas fatal car crashes occurred literally all over the State of Georgia.
Atlanta Metro Area: It is true that ten of the 25 people killed in the auto accidents were killed in wrecks that occurred in or at least near the Atlanta metro area. The wrecks occurred in Cherokee County, Clayton County, Coweta County, DeKalb County, Douglas County, Henry County, and Newton County. A second Cherokee County accident occurred in the city of Clanton. Only one fatal car crash occurred within the Atlanta city limits. A second Douglas County accident occurred in the city limits of Lithia Springs.
Middle/Central Georgia: Although 10 of the fatal car crashes occurred within a 35-mile circumference around downtown Atlanta, the metro area was by no means the only dangerous place for Georgia drivers and pedestrians in Christmas 2008. Three people died in counties in Middle Georgia - one person was killed in a car wreck that occurred in Bibb County, a second person died in a fatal car collision in Montgomery County, and a third deadly car crash happened in the city of Smithville in Sumter County (on the western side of Georgia).
North Georgia: To the northwest of the state, one person was killed in Barrow County. In the northeast corner of the State, Dade County sits at Georgia's border with Alabama and Tennessee. One person died in a Christmas crash in Dade County in 2008. A third accident happened in the northern part of this state, this time in Dawson County, which is toward the middle of the northern end of the state.
South Georgia: Three more people were killed in Georgia crashes on the south side of the State. One person died in Cook County, a second was killed in a car collision in Ware County, and a third person died in an auto crash in the city limits of Folkston in Charlton County.
Coastal Georgia: One person died in a car crash in the city of Pooler, which is in Chatham County. Chatham County sits on Georgia's coast.
Western Georgia: One person was killed in a car crash on the western side of Georgia, in Stewart County, which borders the State of Alabama.
Eastern Georgia: Two different deadly car accidents happened in Augusta in Richmond County. Richmond County is on Georgia's eastern border with South Carolina. A third accident happened in Burke County, also on Georgia's border with South Carolina.