Georgia sees first increase in traffic fatalities in nine years

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October 29, 2015 Cobb County: A man was killed Thursday morning, Oct. 29, 2015 in a multi-vehicle wreck on Bells Ferry Road, Cobb County police said. Investigators believe a driver was southbound on Bells Ferry Road, just west of I-75 near Marietta, when he collided with two vehicles that were northbound, Officer Alicia Chilton said. The man, whose name was not released, died at the scene of the wreck, Chilton said. The wreck happened just before 8:30 a.m. and temporarily blocked traffic in the area while police investigated. No other injuries were reported. JOHN SPINK /JSPINK@AJC.COM
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A man was killed Thursday morning, Oct. 29, 2015 in a multi-vehicle wreck on Bells Ferry Road in Cobb County. Investigators believe a driver was southbound on Bells Ferry Road when he collided with two vehicles that were northbound. The man, whose name was not released, died at the scene. JOHN SPINK /JSPINK@AJC.COM

Georgia has reached a tragic milestone.

The number of traffic fatalities in the state has increased for the first time in nine years, reversing a downward slide that began in 2006.

The total number of people killed on state roads as of Dec. 23 was 1,339 — a 17 percent increase over last year.

Last year’s total was 1,170.

Here’s how the numbers break down.

  • 185 occurred on interstates
  • 671 occurred on state routes
  • 483 occurred on local routes
  • Six were collisions between a car and train
  • 190 were pedestrians
  • 138 were motorcyclists
  • 21 were bicyclists

So why the uptick in total fatalities? State Department of Transportation officials say they’ve seen an increase in single-vehicle crashes caused when drivers run off the road. They believe many of these wrecks can be traced back to irresponsible behavior, be it distracted driving, failing to wear a seat belt, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or driving while sleepy.

GDOT officials anticipated this grim record earlier this year and began efforts this spring to raise awareness about it with the Drive Alert. Arrive Alive. Campaign. The campaign asks drivers to take a pledge to buckle up, stay off the phone and stay alert.

 


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