Transportation and law enforcement officials across Georgia kicked off DriveAlert ArriveAlive, a year-long multi-agency campaign to call attention to an 25 percent increase in roadway fatalities in the first quarter of 2015 and how changes in driver behavior can help to decrease these numbers.
DriveAlert ArriveAlive, implores motorists to help turn the tide on these increasing crashes and fatalities. Drivers are asked to focus on driving, to not drive impaired and to wear a seatbelt to reduce the chance of serious injury or death if there is a crash.
“Compared to the first quarter of last year, fatalities are up significantly in just the first three months of 2015. If we continue at this rate, we could see the first increase in traffic fatalities in Georgia in nine years,” said state DOT Commissioner Russell McMurry. “That’s just unacceptable — especially when many of these crashes can be prevented by changing driver behavior.”
DriveAlert ArriveAlive asks drivers to drive responsibility by following three steps every time they get behind the wheel. Among its recommendations are:
• Buckle up, it’s the law. Seat belts reduce the risk of fatality in a crash by about 45 percent and serious injury by about 50 percent.
• Stay off the phone and mobile devices. If possible, shut off the phone to avoid temptation. Even hands-free is a distraction. Georgia law bans texting and driving.
• Drive alert. Do not drive drowsy or impaired.
“It’s startling when you consider that 60 percent of traffic fatalities in Georgia so far this year are the result of a single vehicle crash,” said
Harris Blackwood, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. “We are looking at driver behavior as a primary cause — specifically distracted driving.”
Georgia DOT has worked for years to avoid roadway departures, to increase occupant protection, and to reduce distracted driving with a goal toward zero deaths. Measures like safety edge rumble strips, center median cable barriers, high friction surface treatments, reflective signage and striping, and pedestrian countdown timers have all contributed to nine consecutive years of decreased roadway fatalities in Georgia.
The goal of DriveAlert ArriveAlive is to continue the downward trend.
DriveAlert ArriveAlive, a partnership between the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the Georgia Department of Public Safety, educates drivers about specific changes they can make in their driving behavior to save lives.
For more information and for updates, visit www.dot.ga.gov/DS/SafetyOperation/DAAA.