For many people in Fayette County, summer brings trips to the local water park, barbecues and community events. However, it also can bring an increase of car accidents which can leave people lying in a hospital instead of enjoying outdoor activities.
In an effort to lower the number of fatal collisions in Georgia, the Governor’s Highway Safety Office is partnering with local and state law enforcement agencies in the tenth annual Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic campaign according to Officer.com. The HEAT program is designed to reduce the amount of aggressive traffic found on roads in the state. The term “aggressive” refers to impaired drivers and those who speed.
Leading causes of fatal accidents
The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reports that impaired driving and speeding are the leading causes of fatal accidents in the state. Impaired driving, involving the use of drugs or alcohol is estimated to cause around 25 percent of all accident fatalities. In 2008, 416 people died in collisions involving alcohol; it is unknown how many of those fatalities were inebriated drivers and how many were victims.
The number of speeding-related deaths has continuously climbed according to state numbers. Between 2002 and 2006 fatalities increased from 327 to 384 people. The number of car accidents involving injury stayed steady around 8,000 and then dropped in 2006 to 7,697. Data from 2012 shows that over 1100 crashes in Georgia were caused by speeding; it is unknown how many of those crashes involved injuries or were fatal. About 70 percent of drivers speed-related accidents are male.
The purpose of H.E.A.T. is to save lives according to the GOHS director in The Daily Tribune News. During the 100 days of summer law enforcement patrols across the state will be increasing their presence to catch aggressive drivers and educate the public. Actions of the H.E.A.T. teams will include:
- Ticketing speeding drivers
- Issuing tickets to people who are not wearing seatbelts
- Arresting people who are under the influence of alcohol
This year there are 16 law enforcement agencies that have partnered with GOHS to keep the roads safer for everyone. Additional agencies have formed task teams to increase vigilance in catching aggressive driving behavior.
Legal options for victims of aggressive drivers
For the victims of aggressive drivers, being involved in a car accident can present a number of challenges, especially for the pocketbook. Many victims face thousands of dollars in medical costs, lost income and property damage. For these victims, there are legal options which can help them seek compensation to cover these unexpected bills .
If you are involved in an accident, you can learn about your legal rights through speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney.