The story at a glance:
- We’re in too big a hurry to get home, it seems: A look at traffic accident patterns in January and February shows that in both months, the largest number of accidents occurred on the drive home (4 until 7 p.m. weekdays).
- And we’re still following too closely: 82 of the accidents charted — 59 percent — involved drivers following too closely. One of the leading causes of such accidents in the past: distracted driving (cell phone use).
- 16% jump in accidents in 2019: Overall traffic accidents for the first two months of 2019 are up almost 16 percent, or from 334 in January and February of 2018 vs. 387 for the first two months of this year.
We need to be more careful out there. Some of the data shared in the agenda package for Wednesday’s Public Works Committee/Traffic Commission/Transit Committee at 10 a.m. in the Sam King Room of Rome City Hall warrants a closer look from area motorists, especially some of the root causes.
Below please find a few breakouts from the data supplied by the Rome Police Department concerning basic traffic patterns and accidents. You’ll find some of it surprising.
Traffic accidents: primary causes. Once again, driving too closely is the no. 1 cause, 59 percent overall based on recent data. One of the hoped-for results of Georgia’s distracted driving law when it went on the books July 1 was an effort to reduce such accidents as many were caused by drivers whose noses were in their phones. A distant no. 2 cause: Failure to yield.
Overall accidents: We’ve seen a 16 percent increase year to date vs. the same two months in 2018.
- Overall injuries down 11 percent, or from 126 in the first two months of 2018 to 112 in the 2019.
- No fatalities were reported in the beginning of 2018 and 2019.
- Driving under the influence arrests were down from 52 to 30.
- DUI-related accidents were up 25 percent, or from eight to 10.
- Total traffic cases were down almost 16 percent in January and February of this year vs. the same months last year.
Where the most accidents were: Based on February accident data, here’s where most of the accidents were recorded. Overall no. 1 cause: following too closely.
- 8: Turner McCall and Riverside Parkway. Top causes: Following too close (3), “other” (3).
- 6: Martha Berry and the Bypass. Top cause: Following too close (3)
- 6: The Bypass an Ga. 53. Top cause: Following too close (4)
- 4: Turner McCall and Hicks Drive. Top cause: Following too close (4)
- 4: Riverside Parkway/The Bypass. Top cause: Following too close (3)
- 3: Redmond Circle/West Butler. Top cause: Following too close (2)
- 3: Old Dalton/Armuchee cutoff. Top cause: Following too close (2).