GDOT sees increased deaths on Georgia roads in 2020

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– The Georgia Department of Transportation reports a rise in traffic deaths this year.

G-DOT representative, Kyle Collins, says the Department of Public Safety attributes the increase to higher speeds, lack of seat belt use, and less focus on the road.

“They’re driving recklessly, they’re driving too fast, in addition to that they’re driving distracted,” Collis stated. “76 percent of well over 1000 of the roadway fatalities are attributed to distracted driving behaviors.”

G-DOT expected a decrease in roadway accidents this year because of COVID-19. However, Collins says the data tells a different story.

“Exact opposite of what you would think with the pandemic… fatalities are actually trending slightly upward,” he explained.

On November 15, the Georgia Department of Public Safety reported over 1,300 deaths on the roads this year. Sargent Brandon Brown with the Georgia State Patrol, says his post has seen a rise in bad driving behaviors too.

“We’ve actually seen a little bit of an increase in this area right here too. It’s mostly people failing to maintain lane from distracted driving,” Brown said.

Sargent Brown believes the recent driving trends may continue to rise during the holiday season, so he’s encouraging people to stay vigilant and safe.

The Georgia State Patrol says before or immediately after you put your keys into the ignition, make sure you buckle your seatbelt before you start your trip.

GSP also reminds everyone to put their phone out of reach while driving. Georgia’s Click it or Ticket law states phones should not touch any part of the body while driving.

“We’re going to aggressively enforce distracted driving rules, seatbelt use, failure to maintain lane, and DUIs,” Brown explained. “It’s our job to make sure every person traveling through our state makes it to their destination safely.”

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