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Accident-related fatalities on Georgia roads are on the rise

Safety features on cars might be improving, but another factor could be driving more accident-related fatalities than ever. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) tracks the number of car accident fatalities every year, and the current numbers for 2015 are startling. So far, the state is on track to erase the progress it made over the past decade or so.

So just how serious is the increase? According to GDOT's data, the fatality rate for this time in 2014 was 12 percent lower. So far, at least 791 people have been killed in a car accident on Georgia roads this year.

Many roads have been retro outfitted with reflectors between lanes, extra guardrails and other safety features. Nevertheless, some drivers' behaviors continue to trump those attempts at making the road safer for everyone. Texting, distracted driving and drunk driving top the list of dangerous behaviors that lead to wrecks. Another reason? According to the National Safety Council, there are simply more people on the roads than before.

Nationally, accident fatality rates have plummeted in the past 20 years, but some states -- including Georgia -- are experiencing an uptick in those rates. Unfortunately, many of those accidents can be traced back to reckless or negligent behavior while behind the wheel. With more deaths happening on the road, it is important that families understand what rights they have in the aftermath of a loved one's death. When navigated to a successful end, wrongful death lawsuits are intended to achieve compensation for a loved one's estate, and may also be used to seek recourse for surviving family members.

Source: onlineathens.com, "Human behavior causes increased traffic fatalities in Georgia", Walter C. Jones, Aug. 22, 2015

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