Despite the fact that auto accident-related fatalities have been decreasing in Georgia during the past decade, this year’s annual report from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety indicates the state still has a way to go toward ensuring drivers and their passengers stay safe on Georgia roads. Every year, the organization combs through the previous year’s accident data to rate all 50 states in terms of highway safety and makes recommendations to help states improve their road safety profiles.
The organization uses a three-color ranking system – green, yellow and red – to indicate which states are complying with recommended safety laws and which states are falling short. Specifically, the consumer advocacy group looks at laws related to prevention of distracted driving and drunk driving, child restraint laws, seat belt laws, motorcycle helmet laws, graduated driver’s license (GDL) programs, and similar laws and regulations.
Georgia: More Driving Laws Needed
In its report issued a few weeks ago, the organization awarded Georgia a “yellow” ranking, indicating the state has made some progress in enacting important safety laws that have had a measurable effect on accidents throughout the state – but more work still needs to be done.
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The area where Georgia was found to be especially deficient is its graduated driver’s license program. The organization recommended the state raise the minimum age to receive a learner’s permit to 16 years, instead of the current minimum age of 15 years with no driver training. It also recommends the state implement a nighttime driving restriction and stronger passenger restrictions for teen drivers enrolled in the graduated driver’s license program.
The GDL recommendation is especially timely in light of recent data indicating distracted driving is much more common among young drivers than previously thought. The age at which learners’ permits are issued in the U.S. ranges from 14 to 17 years of age. Studies have shown older teens are less likely to be involved in fatal car accidents compared with younger teens.
Other recommendations in the report include requiring mandatory ignition locks for all DUI offenders and enacting a primary offense seat belt law for back-seat passengers. The primary offense designation means police could pull over a vehicle in which back-seat passengers were not wearing seat belts and issue a citation to the driver. Secondary offenses mean a driver can be cited for the offense only if they have been pulled over for a primary offense first. The report also estimated Georgia’s 10-year auto accident fatality total at 14,315 deaths and the annual cost due to motor vehicle crashes at $12.5 billion, much of which reflects the personal injury and medical costs of accident victims.
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If you’ve been involved in a car accident, the results can be devastating. As a leading car accident lawyer in Marietta, Roger Ghai helps accident victims understand their rights and protect them, from the moment the accident occurs to the moment fair compensation is awarded. He knows the toll – financially, emotionally and physically – a car wreck can have, not just on the victim, but on loved ones as well.
Working with a skilled car accident attorney in Marietta is the best way to make sure your rights are protected. Call the Law Offices of Roger Ghai today at 770-792-1000 to schedule your confidential consultation and get the compensation you deserve.