Each year, the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety release a Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws. This roadmap gives each state a ranking of either red, yellow or green based on how well the state has done in passing laws to protect motorists. Red means poor performance; yellow means moderately positive performance with room for improvement, and green means that the state has shown “significant advancement” towards implementing recommended highway safety laws.
The state of Georgia received a “yellow” ranking this year. Georgia got credit for having 10 important safety laws out of 15 total recommended regulations. While the state wasn’t the worst in terms of protecting motorists, its yellow ranking means there is lots of room to improve. Georgia lawmakers should consider passing legislation that addresses deficiencies in safety rules, while drivers need to be aware of what behaviors are considered risky and should do everything they can to avoid those actions. If a driver does something unsafe, regardless of whether it is against the law or not, an Atlanta car accident lawyer can help those who are hurt in the crash to pursue legal action against that motorist.
How Could Georgia Do Better to Prevent Collisions?
The state of Georgia had 1,179 fatalities over the course of 2013 and has had a total of 14,315 car accident deaths over the past 10 years. The annual economic cost due to motor vehicle collisions in the state reaches $12.485 billion.
Georgia could help to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries that occur in car crashes by implementing recommended laws including:
- Primary enforcement of rear seatbelt laws: This would allow police to pull over and cite motorists if passengers in the back seats did not have a seatbelt on. There is already a primary enforcement seat belt law allowing police to issue tickets if drivers in the front aren’t belted.
- Graduated driver’s license laws. Graduated driver’s license rules aim to reduce teen collisions by gradually giving young people more freedom to drive. Georgia does not currently impose a minimum age of 16 for a new driver to get a learner’s permit. The state also does not have adequate restrictions on the number of passengers that can ride in the car with new teen drivers, nor does it have sufficient restrictions on nighttime driving for new teen drivers.
- Ignition interlock device for all offenders. An ignition interlock requires a driver convicted of drunk driving to blow into a breath test installed in his vehicle before the car will start.
Georgia has already implemented a lot of the recommended safety rules including requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets, and limiting the use of cell phones and handheld electronic devices for motorists. However, the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety believe that implementing these additional recommendations could make a big difference in helping to bring down the death toll in the state.
Regardless of the laws, however, teens have a responsibility to make sure they drive safely and don’t get into situations that could cause a collision risk, while all motorists should refrain from impaired driving and ensure that every passenger in the car is buckled in.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury in a motor vehicle crash. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.