If you are driving on Georgia's highway system as the weather warms up and road crews begin to gather for a new season of work, then you already know how driving in work zones can present unique challenges. Being vigilant for workers' safety and monitoring for random hazards can all tax your vigilance, but by slowing down and making sure you follow safe driving practices, it can be just as safe as driving under any other conditions.
The majority of lawsuits based on car accidents are usually founded on a driver's negligence behind the wheel. The negligent driver can be held accountable for their behavior, especially if it results in an auto accident that leads to serious injuries or even fatalities. But what if the accident wasn't due to a driver who was negligent? What if there was a defect in one of the cars involved, and that led directly to the accident? In that type of case, a lawsuit may be brought against the vehicle manufacturer.
Most Georgia residents have probably heard the heartbreaking news about a deadly truck accident that left five young women dead. The young women - all nursing students who were finishing up their first year of studies - were in two separate cars that were part of a multi-vehicle crash that reportedly occurred because the driver of a semi-truck did not slow down as he was approached a traffic jam.
Police officers face certain risks every day on the job. For law enforcement personnel who are dealing with traffic violations, the threat of injury can be significantly increased. A recent car accident involving a police cruiser and a semi truck highlights some of the dangers of police work.
A 51-year-old Georgia woman was killed in a car accident involving a work truck on March 5. According to the report, she was heading south in her Honda Accord on Veterans Memorial Parkway at approximately 6:18 a.m. when the work truck, driven by a 37-year-old man, made a left hand turn at an intersection and struck her in the driver's side door.
Police are searching for a Calhoun, Georgia, man allegedly involved in a deadly hit and run auto accident that took place on Interstate 75 on April 17. According to Georgia State Patrol reports, the 21-year-old driver reportedly left the scene after his truck hit an SUV driven by a Florida man. The Florida driver died when his vehicle overturned after the collision and a passenger riding with him was injured. The Calhoun man has warrants for driving unlicensed or with an expired license, failure to report an accident with an injury, death or damage, homicide by vehicle, serious injury by vehicle, hit and run leaving the scene of an accident, failure to maintain lane, improper turn or lane change and possession of an open container in the vehicle. In Georgia, reckless driving is a misdemeanor and drivers convicted face a $1,000 fine and up to 12 months in jail. Under state law, reckless driving is considered criminal negligence. Additional charges make the penalties more severe, and the open container charge suggests the driver had been drinking at the time of the crash. If a DUI charge is added, the penalties can depend on whether the driver is a first or a repeat offender.
In December 2011, a former law enforcement official with the Georgia State Patrol may have been responsible for a car accident that resulted in the death of a woman. The trooper involved in the incident was assisting another law enforcement official with a motorcycle pursuit at the time of the incident, and the victim and her family were traveling to a football game. The car that the victim was riding in had the right of way at an intersection when the trooper's car crashed into it. While the trooper had his siren and emergency lights on, he was driving over 30 miles over the posted speed limit and failed to even slow down at the intersection. The victim died as a result of the car accident. The man responsible for the car accident states that he will plead guilty to two of the three charges against him. He will not plead guilty to violating his oath, but he will agree to plead guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and reckless driving. For these charges, he could spend up to 15 years in prison. His trial is slated to begin in mid-April.
A car wreck involving three vehicles on Interstate 75 proved to be fatal to one driver. A passenger was also hospitalized with injures. The accident occurred when a vehicle changed lanes, sideswiping a second passenger vehicle. That vehicle in turn lost control and spun into the next lane, which caused a second impact with an SUV. The SUV struck the driver's side, and the driver of the vehicle was killed. A second passenger was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital to be treated for injuries. Information as to why the initial vehicle sideswiped the passenger vehicle was not provided. The crash occurred in the morning just after rush hour, and the incident was reported to news outlets by the Georgia State Patrol. The GSP Specialized Collision Reconstruction Team has been called to lead the investigation of events and determine if criminal charges will be filed. In cases involving one or more deaths, a detailed investigation is required to gather evidence for a criminal trial. In many cases, this evidence can also be presented in civil court.
A 43-year-old woman of Forsyth County, Georgia, was killed in a three-vehicle collision on Georgia Highway 9. One of the vehicles involved in the incident was a school bus. The responding deputy said that the woman died at Northside Hospital after the crash. The driver of the other vehicle suffered injuries, but there were no signs of gross negligence on behalf of any of the drivers. Subsequently, authorities did not make any citations.The school bus was waiting to make a left turn at the intersection of Georgia Highway 9 and North Old Atlanta Road. The 43-year-old woman was traveling eastbound on North Old Atlanta Road, and the other driver was headed in the southbound direction. When the two vehicles collided, the 43-year-old woman's vehicle impacted the passenger side of the school bus.
Fatal car accidents involving 16-and 17-year-old drivers decreased last year in Georgia, according to a report by the Governors Highway Safety Association. 2012 saw 23 teens killed in car accidents compared to 37 reported in 2011.