By: Laura-Jane Hatcher (WRGA News)
If you’re out this Memorial Day Weekend, you can certainly expect to see a Georgia State Patrol car.
With so many travelers anticipated to flood Georgia’s roads over the next two days, the GSP is ramping up their efforts to keep motorists safe. They’ll be conducting highly visible patrols and road checks, looking for drunk drivers, seat belt violators and any other violations that could lead to a dangerous wreck.
The 78-hour holiday period is unfortunately a dangerous time on Georgia’s roads. In 2012, the state patrol investigated hundreds of traffic crashes that resulted in 278 injuries and 16 deaths. Since 6pm this Friday, four people have died in car accidents and that number will likely mount as the weekend stretches on.
This time of the year is especially lethal for young drivers, says Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.
“Sadly, we lost more young people at this time of the year. Prom season has happened, and now graduation and getting out of school----young people who are behind the wheel of a car get excited and lose their concentration, “Blackwood says. “Often, the resulting thing is a crash that results in injury or fatality.”
According to state troopers, speed, impaired driving and no seatbelts were the major contributors in the traffic deaths they investigated.
Though not technically within the Memorial Weekend period, two accidents have already claimed the lives of two people in Northwest Georgia.
A tragic incident on I-75 Thursday killed a prominent Paulding County funeral director riding his motorcycle. Then, on Friday, a Dalton woman died in Chattooga County when her car inexplicably veered into a ditch. Investigators believe she was not wearing her seatbelt and died on impact.