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GDOT data: Reckless driving is increasing in Georgia | Here's why

Data from the Georgia Department of Transportation shows an increase in overall fatal crashes over a nine-year period

MARIETTA, Ga. — Georgia has seen a sharp increase in fatal crashes in recent years, with numbers doubling in the past nine years, according to data from the Georgia Department of Transportation. Marietta Police attribute this rise to reckless driving, including driving while impaired and distracted.

Officer Chuck McPhilamy with the Marietta Police Department has witnessed some of the worst crashes caused by distractions such as cell phone use while driving. 

"Drivers have a false sense of security that they can do whatever they would like," McPhilamy said. He has also noticed an increase in severe car accidents caused by driving while impaired.

"A gentleman was impaired and he left a club knowing that he was heavily impaired. He drove into a construction scene," McPhilamy recounted.

In addition to impaired driving, McPhilamy said that drivers are being reckless in other ways, such as ignoring speed limits and driving while distracted. 

"Your head's not in the game and you're just not focused," he warned.

Data from GDOT reveals an alarming trend across 26 counties in the state, with 463 fatal crashes reported in 2023, and a staggering 860 reported in 2021. McPhilamy is urging drivers to be more aware on the roads to prevent potential tragedies.

"What we want is for everyone to agree to one set of rules for the roadway because that's going to protect you and I– and our families," he emphasized.

McPhilamy also advises drivers to pull over and remove themselves from the situation if they encounter someone driving erratically to avoid collisions and injuries. 

With the increase in fatal crashes in Georgia, law enforcement and safety advocates are urging drivers to prioritize safe and responsible driving practices to prevent further loss of life on the roads. Remember, driving recklessly not only endangers your own life but also the lives of others around you. Let's all strive to make our roads safer by obeying traffic laws and driving responsibly.

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