Georgia has the 14th most dangerous roads in the United States, according to a recent report by the news site 24/7 Wall St. Why are Georgia roads so dangerous, and how can the state improve the situation?
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety provides data that may help.
The number of rural roads a state has is one of the largest factors in the rankings, according to IIHS reports. Rural roads usually have higher speed limits than roads in urban areas and often have telephone poles and trees lining the shoulders that can cause serious damage and injuries when collisions occur.
Interactions between passenger cars and commercial vehicles are also a safety issue. Distracted or tired truck drivers may cause accidents, and their large vehicles often cause injuries to passengers in smaller cars.
Changes in federal laws and stricter enforcement could help prevent truck driver fatigue and reduce crashes in Georgia and across the country. However, trucking companies have resisted legislation and oversight on the grounds that it could negatively affect the industry, so solutions must come at the state level for now.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is considering the addition of truck-only lanes to a 41-mile stretch of I-75. Truck drivers must drive only in these lanes. Drivers of passenger vehicles may drive in the truck-only lanes, but the Department will discourage them from doing so.
The Department believes that adding these lanes will reduce congestion, allowing traffic to flow more freely and resulting in fewer crashes.