SAVANNAH GA – The Georgia Department of Transportation says more than one thousand people have died so far this year. That averages out to 26 deaths per week.
One every six and a half hours. These are not just statistics they are also lives lost.
“We have a situation on Georgia highways and it is due to distracted driving and driver behavior,” says DOT spokesperson Jill Nagel.
It’s a death toll on pace to mark the first increase in traffic fatalities in nearly a decade. Fatalities those who see first hand believe can easily be avoided.
“With just a little caution you can avoid a life changing event just slow down and pay attention and get off the devices, says Senior Trooper Chris Cuddington with GSP.
Since noticing the deadly trend, safety officials say nearly 75% of fatalities on the road are attributed to driver distractions.
“Try and leave a three second interval between you and the car ahead, another big one is get off the devices pay attention and drive leave the cell phone in the back seat and obviously reduce your speed,” says Cuddington.
The DOT is estimating deaths on roads to reach more then 1200 at the end of the year if they continue at their current pace.
More than 1/3 of deaths on Georgia roads are single vehicle accidents according to the DOT. With that they want to urge drivers to drive alert all times to arrive alive.
“We hear it on the news ever day about fatalities and we don’t want people to get immune to hearing that because it is a family member that will be lost forever,” Nagel says.
Law enforcement also warns drivers against other risky behaviors behind the wheel like
drunk driving, not wearing seat belts, and speeding.