Atlanta is a metro area known for its bustling roads, with interstates I-85, I-285, I-75, and I-20 serving the city and region. Unfortunately, it has some of the worst traffic in the country, with the average Atlanta commuter spending about 74 hours per year sitting in traffic.
Such levels of traffic and congestion contribute to a high potential for accidents. In fact, according to US Insurance Agents, Atlanta is the sixth deadliest city for drivers in the country, corresponding with the high number of severe injuries and fatalities reported annually. But first, let’s find out what makes Atlanta a nationwide leader in auto crashes.
According to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), Atlanta averages about 30,000 car accidents per year. While the causes and severity of these accidents may differ, there are a few common reasons behind car accidents in the city. These include:
Texting, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the GPS or radio, or interacting with passengers are all forms of distractions that can quickly cause an accident. When a driver is distracted, their reaction time is slowed, and they’re less likely to recognize and respond to potential hazards.
Georgia is among the states that have passed legislation to hamper cell phone use when driving, but distracted driving is still a major cause of accidents, as many drivers engage in similar forms of multitasking.
We’ve all seen cars whizz past us on the road or even disregarded speed limits ourselves. While speeding can be thrilling, it is responsible for most of the fatal accidents in Atlanta. When you speed, your reaction time is reduced, making it more likely to crash.
While most people agree that driving while intoxicated is unacceptable, many drivers still disregard this law, as shown by the many drunk-driving-related accidents in the city. Alcohol consumption can impair a driver’s judgment, reaction time, and ability to control the wheel, which increases the risk of accidents.
An accident can also occur when a vehicle comes into contact with another one in a parallel lane. Changing lanes recklessly is hazardous and can result in fatal accidents, especially on freeways. Various factors can lead to lousy lane changes, including:
- Failing to observe the surroundings
- Not using the turn signal
- Not providing ample space for the switch
- Not checking for blind spots
- Straddling two lanes
- Failure to account for bad weather
Running an intersection or running a red light is a traffic violation. It is a dangerous behavior as it can lead to collisions with other cars, bicycles, or pedestrians who have the right of way.
Car accident injuries can take varying forms and severity depending on various factors, like the speed of the car and whether the occupants wore seat belts. However, even a low-speed car crash with restrained occupants can lead to severe injuries. Some of the most common ones include:
When a car suddenly stops or changes direction, it can cause the occupants’ heads to move in a sudden and unnatural manner. This jolt can cause muscle strains and sprains in the neck and back regions.
Still, one’s head can also sustain injury. An individual’s head can be bruised or cut when it hits the steering wheel or a side window. A severe impact can lead to a closed head injury that causes the brain tissue or vessels to bruise or tear. If the brain forcefully hits the skull, the pressure of the fluid protecting the brain can cause the tissue to swell, leading to a concussion.
The impact from a car accident can cause the chest to suddenly slam into the seatbelt, resulting in chest bruises. These injuries can cause the blood vessels under the skin to tear, leading to excruciating pain and swelling.
Any loose object inside a vehicle immediately becomes a projectile during a crash. This includes items such as phones, cups, purses, and books. The speed at which these objects hit the body can easily cut the skin and cause other injuries. While most scrapes and cuts are relatively minor, the more severe ones may require stitches.
The sudden forces victims experience in Atlanta car accidents can stretch, tear, and cause damage to their connective tissues. Soft tissue injuries are the most common type of car accident injury and can take many forms, including torn joint cartilage and sprained muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Mild soft tissue injuries usually take a few weeks to heal, while severe ones may take months after treatment and physical therapy.
Fractured bones occur due to a blunt impact during an auto crash. This type of trauma can fracture the arms, legs, wrists, ankles, facial bones, and teeth. A spine fracture is the most severe form of fracture that can happen in a car crash. This may cause complications that require surgery, and if the impact shatters the spinal cord, it may lead to paralysis.
Some car accidents can cause emotional and mental distress, which usually manifests itself in the form of PTSD. When the victim is exposed to a triggering or less traumatic event, their brain recalibrates, making them overly sensitive, as if they are experiencing the accident all over again. This can cause them to struggle with nightmares, anxiety, emotional outbursts, and depression.
Car accidents can be devastating, leaving the victims with hefty medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and emotional distress. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Atlanta that was due to another party’s negligence, we can help. At Fry | Goehring, our team of personal injury lawyers has the resources and experience needed to handle the intricacies of an auto accident claim and help you get the settlement you deserve. Call us today at 404-969-1284 to schedule a free initial, no-obligation consultation online.