Waynesboro, GA, does not have a good record for traffic accidents. Waynesboro has a higher rate of traffic accidents and traffic deaths than the state as a whole. Worse yet, most of these accidents result from preventable driver behaviors.
But there is good news. Waynesboro’s car accident statistics have improved recently. Waynesboro’s traffic deaths have decreased over the past four years. In fact, the total number of traffic accidents has fallen since 2019.
Curious about Waynesboro car accident statistics? Here is a guide to everything you need to know.
Traffic Accidents in Waynesboro
Burke County has about 500 traffic accidents every year. On an average year, these accidents typically cause about ten deaths and 50 serious injuries. They also produce over 100 minor injuries.
More than half of these accidents happen in Waynesboro. As Burke County’s most populous city, Waynesboro has more vehicles and heavier traffic than the rest of the county.
Most of the traffic accidents in Waynesboro arise from a few causes, which include:
In 2019, distracted driving caused 66% of the traffic accidents in Waynesboro. Distracted driving is such a problem that the Georgia legislature passed a hands-free law that went into effect in 2018.
Under this law, police officers can cite drivers who handle their phones while driving. Prohibited actions include:
- Holding a phone in your hand while driving
- Typing while driving
- Reading while driving
A judge can sentence you to pay a fine. The Georgia Department of Driver Services will add one to three points to your driving record. If you accumulate 15 points over a two-year period, Georgia will suspend your driver’s license.
Importantly, Georgia police officers do not need to wait until drivers cause a crash to issue a distracted driving citation. In Burke County, police officers issued 64 distracted driving citations in the past year. Only five of these citations came after a car accident.
Distractions can include:
- Manual distractions
- Visual distractions
- Cognitive distractions
Manual distractions like eating or typing can take your hands off the wheel. This reduces your ability to react to emergencies.
Visual distractions, like reading, take your eyes off the road. At 45 miles per hour, your vehicle can travel over 120 feet during a two-second distraction. Reading a brief text is roughly equivalent to driving 40 yards with your eyes closed.
Cognitive distractions, like talking on the phone, take your mind off of the important duty of driving. This makes you less alert and slows down your reaction time.
Speeding played a role in 10 to 30% of all traffic accidents in Waynesboro, depending on the year. Speeding extends your braking distance and shrinks your window for maneuvering in an emergency.
Speeding also increases the energy released by your car if you collide with another vehicle. More energetic collisions cause more damage and increase the risk of severe injury.
In a typical year, Waynesboro has dozens of drunk driving accidents. These collisions cause between three and five drunk driving fatalities.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can substantially increase a driver’s odds of becoming involved in a car accident. Drivers who crash their vehicles while intoxicated face substantial legal risk.
Georgia’s drunk driving laws require a judge to impose a sentence of at least one year in jail on drivers who cause a serious injury after a drunk driving accident. When a drunk driving accident results in death, a judge must impose a sentence of at least three years in prison.
In addition, the accident victim can sue the drunk driver for personal injury. If the accident victim dies, the victim’s family can sue the drunk driver in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Age and Car Accidents in Waynesboro
Younger drivers have a much higher accident rate than experienced drivers. In Waynesboro, the drivers most likely to get into a fatal accident are between the ages of 21 and 24 years old.
But as life expectancies increase, more drivers continue to drive into their senior years. Drivers over 85 years old now have the second-highest risk of a fatal car accident, surpassing the fatal accident rate of drivers under 21.
Pedestrian and Bicycle Accidents in Waynesboro
Waynesboro does not see many pedestrian accidents. Smaller towns like Waynesboro have fewer interactions between pedestrians and vehicles.
Waynesboro had a handful of pedestrian accidents and zero pedestrian fatalities in most years. Occasionally, Waynesboro will see a pedestrian death. The most recent fatality happened in 2019 on 7th Street/GA-56 just east of Timberwood Dr.
Waynesboro will also face a handful of bicycle accidents in an average year. Bicycle accident fatalities are rare. The most recent traffic accident to kill a bicyclist happened in 2016.
Motorcycle Accidents in Waynesboro
In 2019, Burke County had 24 motorcycle accidents. These accidents caused no deaths and five serious injuries. They also resulted in over a dozen minor injuries.
Georgia’s universal helmet law is a huge reason why Waynesboro has not had a fatal motorcycle accident since 2017. Helmet use reduces the risk of a head injury by nearly 70% and the risk of death by nearly 40%.
Seat Belt Use in Waynesboro
Over 60% of people killed in Waynesboro traffic accidents were not wearing seat belts at the time of their accidents. Seat belts can reduce your risk of death by 45%.
Georgia as a whole has a seat belt use rate of a little over 80%. This rate is slightly above average among U.S. states. Georgia officials estimate that seat belts saved nearly 700 lives in Georgia in 2019. If Georgia could increase its use rate to 100%, the state estimates that 30 fewer Georgians would have died in car accidents.
Lessons Learned from Waynesboro Car Accident Statistics
Drivers in Waynesboro can reduce their risk of a car accident with a few adjustments. Avoiding distractions and driving sober can substantially reduce the chances of getting into a car accident. Watching your speed and wearing a seat belt can improve your odds of surviving an accident.
If you ride a motorcycle, you should always wear a DOT-approved helmet. You should also consider wearing heavier clothing, which can help to protect you from road rash during an accident.
Contact An Experienced Car Crash Lawyer in Waynesboro, GA At Hawk Law Group Today
If you get injured in a car accident in Waynesboro, you can contact Hawk Law Group to schedule a free consultation. When you meet with our experienced Waynesboro car accident attorneys, we can discuss your accident and help you to explore the compensation you can recover for your injuries.