In what seems like a paradox, traffic deaths on Atlanta roads last year were higher than previous years according to WSB Channel 2.
According to the National Safety Council, it wasn’t a small bump. Overall in the U.S., death rates on the roads spiked 24% despite a 13% drop in traffic. Georgia had a 18% rise in deaths.
Georgia State Patrol Lt. Mark Riley looked at the number of crashes handled between March 15 and July 20 of last year and in 2019. There were 8,000 fewer crashes, but the deaths went up from 318 to 342. What’s the reason?
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The police believe it’s an increase in speeding because there are fewer cars on the road. Fewer cars give an illusion of safety. Once you go beyond certain speeds, the road itself becomes a danger. Channel 2 looked at the number of tickets handed out for going beyond 100 mph over the past three years. Comparing 2020 to 2019, there was a 114% increase, from 2,248 tickets to 4,803.
Speeding isn’t the only factor in a fatal crash. Distraction, weather, DUI, and following to closely also play a role. But this is certainly a worrying sign that Atlanta drivers are taking the opportunity to speed while they can on emptier roads.
We urge everyone to slow down and take their time. There’s less traffic out there, for now, so you should get to your destination on time!