Christmas and New Years are just around the corner, which means countless vehicles on Georgia roadways as travelers visit friends and relatives to celebrate the holidays. In fact, AAA estimates that approximately 2.7 million people will travel by automobile on Georgia roadways between December 23 and January 3. This is a 1.6% increase from 2014. Lower gas prices, higher incomes, and an improved job market all contribute to the significant increase in travelers during the 2015 holiday season.
More vehicles on Georgia interstates and highways unfortunately also mean a potential for increased auto accidents. From December 24-28 in 2014, 14 deaths occurred on Georgia highways. Not only will congestion and weather conditions be potential hazards, but distraction and intoxication also always threats when behind the wheel of a vehicle.
Celebrating the holiday season is exciting and we urge Georgians to attend parties and get-togethers. But it is imperative that you use good judgment if you will be driving. First, buckle up when behind the wheel or riding as a passenger regardless of the length of your ride. Second, prevent distracted driving such as cellphone use by turning your phone off or placing it in an inaccessible location while behind the wheel. Finally, do not drive impaired. Georgia is a zero tolerance state, so if you are caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will be arrested. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety is warning Georgians that law enforcement officials will be searching actively for drunk drivers during the 2015 holiday season.
Fortunately, it is simple to avoid drunk driving. A free smartphone app called “Drive Sober, Georgia” exists that allows Apple and Android users to view free and paid “sober ride” programs throughout the state. AAA’s Tow To Go and Checker Cabs offer free rides from December 24 to January 2, 2016 in an effort to make Georgia roadways safer for everyone.
Let’s all work together to make Georgia roadways safe for everyone during the 2015 holiday season. The attorneys and staff members at Jones & Swanson wish your family a safe and happy holiday season!