An annual crash report from the Southern Georgia Regional Commission showed that in 2016, there were 3,700 crashes on city and county roads. That number is up from four years ago by a total of 500 more wrecks and seven more fatalities. This speaks to a trend of increasing car accidents in rural Georgia areas.
A separate study conducted by the same group on pedestrian and bicycle accidents showed 450 more wrecks in South Georgia over four years.
What could be fueling these increases? Residents of South Georgia gave several explanations. Distractions in the car was a popular answer, specifically smartphones and texting while driving. Another leading cause of accidents was following too closely behind other vehicles or failing to yield. Many of these accidents occurred when roads were wet. Inattentiveness and disregarding street signs and stoplights were also common causes.
What Can I Do to Become a Safer Driver?
Many drivers either don’t realize they are being unsafe on the road or flat out don’t care. Here are some things you can do to improve your driver safety.
- Take a defensive driving course. They’re cheap, you can do them online and you can even save money on your car insurance or get points off your driving record.
- Forget 10 and 2 – keep your hands on the wheel at 9 and 3, or 8 and 4. You have better control and the ergonomics are better this way.
- Readjust your mirrors to cover blind spots.
- Avoid driving when sleepy. If you feel yourself nodding off, find a well-lit area to take a short nap in. Never park on the side of a dark road.
- Treat speed limit signs are requirements, not suggestions.
- Know where you’re going before you get there. This helps you avoid distractions like GPS or fumbling with a map.