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Where Does Georgia Rank Among the Best and Worst Drivers of 2019?

By Butler Prather LLP on August 5, 2019

Most of us drive or are regular passengers in vehicles. However, have you ever wondered how Georgia drivers stack up when compared to the rest of the country? We wondered as well. Today, we are going to look into this using various factors.

Where Does Georgia Rank Among the Best and Worst Drivers of 2019?

During the latest reporting year from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Georgia finished 39th in the worst-driver rankings. Out of 51 total areas ranked (DC included), this is not all that bad. The majority of states were worse than Georgia. We ranked better than our neighbors:

  • South Carolina 6th
  • North Carolina 8th
  • Florida 23rd
  • Alabama 11th
  • Tennessee 28th

However, Georgia scored very poorly when it came to distracted driving – we ranked 11th overall in that category.

What factors are used to make these determinations?

The NHTSA takes several factors into consideration when they are determining the best and worst states driving. This includes:

  • The states’ fatality rates
  • “Failure to obey” laws for things like seatbelt use and holding a valid license
  • Careless driving
  • Drunk driving stats
  • Speeding

Predicting Georgia’s 2019 rank

We want to look at some statistics from Georgia’s DOT when it comes to fatalities over the last few years:

  • 1,514 fatalities in 2018
  • 1,549 fatalities in 2017
  • 1,554 fatalities in 2016
  • 1,432 fatalities in 2015
  • 1,164 fatalities in 2014

As you can see, the fatalities have trended upwards but stayed fairly steady over the last three years. As of this writing, and according to the state’s DOT, there have been 865 total fatalities in 2019, and they are predicting the total fatality count to be similar to last year.

Based on the fatality numbers alone, Georgia’s rank would likely hover around 39th. That is not bad, but we could do better.

  • Last year, 59% of all crash fatality victims were not wearing a seatbelt. We need to do a better job enforcing seat belt use.
  • 17% of all crash fatality victims were pedestrians. We could do a better job at ensuring pedestrians have safe spaces in and around the roadway.

How can we improve on distracted driving?

Because Georgia ranked so poorly when it comes to distracted driving, this is one area where improvement could really help our overall ranking. Texting and phone use are the leading causes of distracted driving, though they are not the only ones. Other distractions include eating while driving, talking to other people in the vehicle, reading while driving, and more.

  • All Georgia drivers under 18 years of age are banned from cell phone use while the vehicle is in motion.
  • School bus drivers cannot use cell phones while the bus is in motion or while loading and unloading passengers.
  • All drivers, regardless of age, are banned from texting while driving.
  • If you are over 18 years of age, you can talk on the phone, but only when using a hands-free device.

Curbing aggressive driving

Aggressive driving is also a major factor in roadway injuries and fatalities. The following behavior is considered aggressive driving in Georgia:

  • Operating a vehicle in a reckless manner
  • Operating while impaired
  • Failure to obey traffic signs or signals
  • Disregarding road markings
  • Operating too fast for conditions
  • Failure to stop for a school bus
  • Improper lane change
  • Following too closely

DUI enforcement will continue to be important. An overwhelming number of crash fatalities are linked to drunk driving each year.

If you’ve been injured in a crash, contact the Atlanta car accident attorneys at Butler Prather LLP today.

Posted in: Car Accidents

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