Over the holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s, there are more drivers on the roads and there are more drivers who take risks, including driving drunk or driving when drowsy. All of this adds up to more auto accidents. With car accidents already a leading cause of workplace injury and fatalities, this increased risk of car crashes is bad news for Atlanta employees.
Our Atlanta workers’ compensation attorneys want to remind workers that the holidays are a dangerous time for drivers. We also want to alert workers to the fact that Georgia accidents are on the rise. By being aware of the increased accident risk, we hope that workers will continue to exercise caution when driving this holiday season. Remember, vigilance behind the wheel could potentially save your life.
Auto Accident Dangers for Atlanta Workers
In Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia, many workers drive for a living, including truck drivers, bus drivers, delivery persons, and postal employees. Even drivers who don’t operate a vehicle professionally may have driving as part of their job. From the assistant who goes to pick up coffee for her boss to the traveling sales rep who meets clients and suppliers, driving is simply a necessary aspect of many different careers.
Unfortunately, driving doesn’t come without risks and statistics have shown time and again that car accidents are a major cause of workplace injuries and deaths. For example:
- An April 2011 report from the Centers for Disease Control indicated that crashes are a leading cause of fatal workplace injuries.
- From 2003 to 2008, the CDC reports that 24 percent of all fatal workplace injuries were caused by highway transportation incidents. During this time, 8,173 workers died from deadly car wrecks.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries Summary for 2011 reported that there were 1,898 transportation incidents in 2011. 1,075 of those injuries, or 57 percent, involved motorized land vehicles colliding, while the remainder involved pedestrian accidents or accidents with farm equipment such as tractors.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that transportation incidents were responsible for more than two out of every five fatal workplace injuries during 2011.
These statistics show that many workers are involved in crashes at work, and that many of those crashes can be deadly. With so many fatal crashes already, any increase in auto accident risk can only serve to make things worse.
Unfortunately, there is an increased risk for workers in Georgia. Not only do accidents tend to increase around the holidays in general, but The Telegraph also reports that traffic fatalities are on the rise throughout the state.
From the first of the year through November 14, 1,033 people have already died as a result of car accidents in Georgia. This is much higher than the number of deaths in 2011, when the total number of people who died during the entire year was 1,226. The increase in the number of fatalities has even prompted the state to launch a safety campaign.
How Can Workers Stay Safe Over the Holidays?
Workers who are traveling during the holidays when the risk of accidents is at its peak should take every possible precaution to avoid a deadly crash. Workers should:
- Avoid speeding, distracted driving, drowsy driving or drunk driving.
- Remain aware of what other drivers are doing and practice assertive, but not aggressive, driving.
- Wear seat belts at all times when in the car.
- Whenever possible, avoid high-traffic areas and areas where there is construction.
- Whenever possible, avoid driving for work on the busiest days of the year including Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve
By doing these simple things, workers may be able to reduce the chance of becoming involved in a crash. Of course, employers should also have policies in place to protect their workers and should urge caution during this busy holiday season. Employers are ultimately responsible for covering monetary costs arising in a workplace injury through workers’ compensation benefits, so it is in both the employer and the employees’ best interests to make driver safety a top priority.
If you or a loved one has been injured on the job, contact J. Franklin Burns, P.C., to speak with an experienced attorney. For a free consultation call 1-404-303-7770 today.
Georgia Work Injuries: Government Releases Accident & Illness Stats for 2011, Georgia Workers Compensation Attorney Blog, November 7, 2012
Black Friday Shopping Frenzy Increases Risk of Work Accidents, Georgia Workers Compensation Attorney Blog, November 23, 2012