2015 Fatal Collision Analysis
by Bill Cahill | January 25, 2016 2:00 pm
Last Updated: January 25, 2016 at 1:45 pm
In an effort to determine possible enforcement actions to help reduce the number of traffic fatalities, Sgt. Jeff Cain has compiled the 2015 Fatal Collision Analysis. Post 19, located in Swainsboro, covers the following counties: Emanuel, Jefferson, Johnson and Treutlen. During the calendar year 2015, Post 19 personnel investigated 17 crashes that resulted in 22 fatalities. The following is a breakdown of this analysis organized by county.
Emanuel County had a total of seven crashes that resulted in 10 fatalities. This total includes two (2) two vehicle crashes that resulted in five fatalities and five one vehicle crashes that resulted in five fatalities. In six crashes, the victims were unrestrained and the seventh was a motorcycle crash. Two crashes were alcohol related with another still pending results at this time. One of the two vehicle crashes that resulted in four fatalities was contributed to a distracted driver. Three of these crashes occurred on county roads, two were on state routes, one on I-16, and one on a city street. All of the crashes, except one, occurred during daylight hours and five were on weekends.
Jefferson County had a total of six crashes that resulted in six fatalities. This total includes one (1) two vehicle crash and five one vehicle crashes. In three of these crashes, the victim was unrestrained while one was a pedestrian. Four of these crashes were alcohol related and one is unknown due to a hit and run. The locations of these crashes are equally divided, with three occurring on state routes and three on county roads. All of these crashes occurred during daylight hours with the exception of one occurring at dusk. All five crashes were on weekends.
Treutlen County had a total of three crashes that resulted in five fatalities. Of the five fatalities, three were unrestrained. Only one crash was contributed to alcohol or drugs, while another one is still pending results at this time. One crash resulted in three fatalities where the at-fault driver was distracted by deer on the roadside. Two of these crashes, to include the three fatality crash, occurred on I-16, while the other occurred on a state route. All three of the crashes occurred during nighttime hours with two on the weekend.
Johnson County had one crash resulting in one fatality. This crash occurred on a Friday morning at 8:10 a.m. The driver was not DUI, but was unrestrained.
This analysis concludes with the following finds and recommendations. The majority of Post 19’s fatal crashes occurred in our two most populated counties, Emanuel and Jefferson but without any concentration on one category of roadway. Of the 17 crashes, seven were alcohol related with an additional two cases pending. Of the 22 fatalities, 13 were unrestrained. Thirteen of the 17 crashes occurred on weekends, but only three occurred during nighttime hours. Although only two crashes occurred on the interstate, these two crashes resulted in seven fatalities and both were contributed to a distracted driver.
It appears that the department’s goals for troopers are in line with a recommendation to help reduce these fatalities. Troopers are already tasked with aggressively enforcing speed, DUI, and seatbelt violation along with an increased effort to identify and enforce distracted driving violations. With that being said, the ideal recommendation that can be made in addition to what our troopers are already tasked with, is to increase the number of troopers completing those tasks. There is a need for more troopers enforcing speed, seat belt use, DUI and distracted driving violations. More troopers are needed to spread out over our vast roadway system on any given shift. Last, more troopers are needed to increase the daytime weekend patrols without taking from the nighttime weekend DUI patrols. Sgt. Cain explained that due to retirements, transfers and other reasons, Post 19’s assigned personnel has dropped from 15 Troopers to presently eight. With the current status of manpower, they will project a greater focus on seat belt enforcement, returning to the “no tolerance” enforcement standard. Secondly, troopers are encouraged to lower their speed tolerance on speeding infractions.
Sgt. Cain hopes that sharing this analysis will increase public awareness while driving. Remember to buckle up, slow down and pay more attention to your driving. #click-it or ticket, #drive55 arrive alive, #no texting & driving.