Georgia Highway Car Accidents
Highway accidents can result in catastrophic injuries or deaths due to the high speed and volume of traffic involved. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III),1,491 persons died on Georgia’s roads in 2019 alone. Interstate highways, turnpikes, and major state roads in Georgia often see a large number of motor vehicles traveling at a fast speed. When driving at high speeds, drivers only have a limited amount of time to react to any sudden traffic changes, obstructions, or road defects. The prevalence of aggressive driving, speeding, or driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, can make highways particularly dangerous. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a highway car accident due to another driver’s aggressive driving, the experienced injury attorneys at Blevins & Hong, LLC at (678) 235-3170 can determine your legal rights, potential legal options, and next best steps.
Highway Accidents in Georgia
The area around Atlanta, one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., including Gwinnett County, can be notorious for high traffic volume and deadly accidents. Major highways, including I-85 and I-75, bring thousands of vehicles and individuals into the city from surrounding counties every single day, whether for school, work, or shopping. Highways with the highest number of traffic accidents, fatalities, and injuries in Georgia include:
I-85 Car Accidents
Accidents occur on Gwinnett County’s highways every day, particularly on I-85. Deadly crashes frequently lead to a shutdown of I-85 for hours in the county. Ongoing construction on I-85 can contribute to slow-downs and accidents.
I-285 Auto Accidents
According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, I-285 is the sixth most congested highway in the United States with up to two million daily drivers. It is also one of the most dangerous highways in the state of Georgia with heavy commuter traffic and traffic jams during rush hour. I-285 loops around the city of Atlanta, with several access roads to surrounding highways and state roads. I-285 can also get busy with out-of-town visitors and truckers, making accidents more likely.
I-75 Car Wrecks
I-75 is a major north-south interstate, passing through six different states. In the Atlanta and Gwinnett County area, I-75 is the deadliest interstate with the highest car accident fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
I-20 Car Accidents
I-20 is the major east-west interstate in the southern United States. It is also the second deadliest highway in the Atlanta and Gwinnett County area. This interstate, running through the city of Atlanta, has a particularly high number of deadly accidents per mile. Since truck traffic is heavy on I-20, accidents with large commercial trucks can be common.
I-16 Auto Accidents
I-16 is an east-west interstate connecting Macon to Savannah. There are numerous accidents with fatalities each year on this highway. Since this road is used heavily by commercial trucks, many of the fatal accidents involve 18-wheelers and tractor-trailer trucks. In fact, Interstate I-16 has been named the third deadliest highway in the state of Georgia.
Other Highways in Georgia
Other highways that rank high on the list of most dangerous roadways in Georgia include I-675 and I-475. Frequent construction work and heavy traffic cause back-ups and accidents on most of the roads servicing the Atlanta metro area, with many accidents resulting in fatalities and horrific injuries for motor vehicle occupants.
Major highway accidents can be catastrophic for all involved. If you suffered injuries or lost a loved one in an accident on one of Georgia’s highways, you should contact an experienced highway car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your lawyer can evaluate whether you have a potential claim against a negligent driver or other parties. Having an experienced and dedicated attorney by your side can be crucial in the fight for justice and compensation.
Protecting the Rights of Car Accident Victims
What Are Some Common Causes of Highway Car Accidents?
There can be many potential causes for accidents on Georgia’s highways, including the following:
Inclement weather such as heavy rain or snow and ice on roads can cause devastating accidents, especially on high-speed highways. Drivers have the responsibility to lower their speed according to the weather and road conditions, even if this means driving below the posted speed limit. If you suffered injuries due to a speeding (or otherwise negligent driver) in bad weather, you could potentially hold them responsible for your injuries and expenses.
Traffic Sign Placement
Inadequate or wrongly-placed traffic signs can potentially contribute to deadly accidents on highways, especially in construction zones. When there is an inadequate warning, no warning, or misplaced signs, you could potentially have a claim against the local government, or any companies responsible. An experienced Georgia highway car accident lawyer can help determine your legal options if your accident was the result of an improper traffic sign placement.
Poor road design can also lead to accidents on Georgia’s highways. Mistakes can occur at various stages of the design process as well as during the building or maintaining a highway. Design and construction errors can lead to overly short and abrupt turns or road defects such as potholes. Road design flaws that contribute to deadly accidents can include but are not limited to:
- Poorly designed curves
- No shoulders
- Inadequate lighting
- Exit ramps that are too short
- Poorly designed median barriers
The link between road design mistakes and an accident can be challenging to prove in a lawsuit. However, an experienced car accident attorney knows how to handle road design defect claims and can determine any at-fault parties.
Poorly Maintained Roadways
Poorly maintained roadways can cause horrific accidents, especially on busy highways. Carelessly discarded construction debris, hazardous materials left in the roadway, or deep pot-holes can lead to tire blowouts and drivers losing control of their vehicles. Responsibility for maintaining highways generally rests on state and local governments.
Common Causes for Accidents Involving Other Car Drivers
While highway accidents in Georgia can potentially happen due to bad weather, road defects, and sign placement, the more common reasons tend to involve driver error. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 94 percent of all accidents occur due to human error and other driver-related causes which can include:
Distracted driving can be anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road, including texting while driving, talking on a cell phone while driving, talking to other passengers, adjusting a GPS, eating, drinking, smoking, or applying make-up.
Fatigued driving can have deadly consequences for the driver as well as other road users. Falling asleep at the wheel can cause devastating single-car or multiple-car accidents. Truck drivers can be particularly susceptible to falling asleep at the wheel since they often spend long days and nights on the road.
Reckless Driving and Speeding
Speeding kills almost 10,000 individuals on United States roads annually, according to the NHTSA. A driver may also break the law if they keep their speed within the posted speed limit but inclement weather or bad road conditions call for a much slower speed. Reckless driving can include weaving in and out of traffic at high speed, racing other cars, improperly passing, and other careless or negligent behaviors.
Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
According to the NHTSA, one person dies every 50 minutes due to drunk driving in the United States. Drunk driving accidents can be particularly deadly on highways. If your car accident happened as a result of a drunk or otherwise impaired driver, you could hold them responsible and recover damages for your injuries and losses. DUI accidents should never happen and only occur as a result of someone else’s recklessness. You have the right to receive compensation for your damages.
Truck Driver or Trucking Company Negligence
Large commercial trucks are a frequent sight on Georgia’s highways. Unfortunately, accidents with trucks rarely end well for those in cars, potentially causing catastrophic damage the vehicle and horrific injuries to occupants. In some cases, the truck driver could be responsible if they drove recklessly or drove their truck while intoxicated. In other cases, particularly where there were truck manufacturing defects, a trucking company or third party could be liable. Since truck accidents can be complicated to litigate, you should consider hiring a Georgia car accident lawyer to help identify all liable parties and gather evidence to prove your claim.
Accident victims can be under the impression that their car accident claim is fairly straightforward, only to find that they struggle for months to get fair and full settlement offers from the insurance company of the negligent party. The experienced car accident attorneys at Blevins & Hong, LLC, can help you with any type of highway accident and fight the compensation you deserve. Contact us as soon as you can after your accident and we can protect your legal rights and pursue justice and compensation on your behalf.
What Happens if an Accident Is in a Construction Zone?
Georgia drivers can be faced with multiple construction zones on their daily commute or when doing their errands. Traveling on highways such as I-85 or I-285 can seem like driving through a constant construction zone. Areas of construction and roadwork can be risky for drivers. Drivers need to pay particular attention to trucks entering the highway, heavy machinery, workers on or near the road, debris in the road and may encounter visibility problems due to construction dirt and dust.
Drivers do have specific legal duties in construction zones within the state of Georgia. Georgia Code Section 40-6-188 addresses speed limits in construction zones in Georgia. Not adhering to federal and state laws can render a driver negligent under the law. Negligent driving in a construction zone can include but is not limited to:
- Driving in excess of the posted speed limit
- Ignoring construction zone traffic signs and signals
- Failing to obey road workers regulating traffic around construction zones
- Inattention while traveling through the construction zone
- Making mistakes when merging into traffic
Getting into an accident in a construction zone can turn into a nightmare for those who suffer serious injuries and other damages. It can be legally challenging to know who to hold responsible for an accident, since construction companies, local or state governments, and other drivers can potentially be held liable for negligence in a construction zone accident.
Dealing with various at-fault parties and several avenues for pursuing compensation can make these types of car accident claims exceedingly complicated to understand and legally tricky to litigate. Having an experienced car accident lawyer by your side can be crucial for determining which parties to hold responsible and how to build a strong case to receive the compensation you deserve.
How Blevins & Hong, LLC, Can Help You After Your Highway Car Accident
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), car accidents are a leading cause of death in the United States, with approximately 100 people dying every single day due to an accident on our roads. Those who survive may have to deal with life-changing injuries and disabilities after a highway accident in Georgia. Figures from the CDC also show that car accident medical costs and work losses can be astronomical, exceeding $75 billion in 2017 alone. Injuries in high-speed crashes can be debilitating and may include head and brain trauma, fractures, internal organ damage, limb amputation, and more. Victims of car accidents and their families may suffer from severe financial hardship due to mounting bills and the loss of income due to an inability to return to work.
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