According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more people in the United States die from injuries related to a motor vehicle accident than from any other cause. More than 41,000 people die in car wrecks every year and over 500,000 injuries occur in accidents across the U.S. Every day, 36 people die in DUI incidents, and 700 people are injured because of a driver under the influence of alcohol.

In 2006 there were 1,688 traffic fatalities in Georgia. Of those, 464 involved a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) above 0.08, and 311 involved a driver with a BAC above 0.15.

Of all the people involved in traffic-related incidents, pedestrians are the most vulnerable and often suffer major injuries, while the driver of the vehicle is much better protected from the impact. In 2007, 4,654 pedestrians were killed and 70,000 were injured in pedestrian/motor vehicle collisions. 72 percent of those fatalities occurred in urban areas.

Motor vehicles carry a certain risk, but people are not going to stop driving any time soon, and auto accidents will continue to happen. So what can you do to protect yourself?

Know the Risks
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), children are especially at risk when it comes to pedestrian injuries. Children's small size makes it harder for drivers to see them, especially when the view is blocked by parked cars, bushes, or other obstacles to vision. Young children are also impulsive and less aware of traffic rules. Both parents and drivers should try to be aware of children playing near roads and intersections, and stay alert to the danger.

Plan Ahead
When you plan to drive to a party, club, or bar, always designate a non-drinking driver before you go. Impaired judgment later could lead to an alcohol-impaired person behind the wheel. Drunk driving destroys lives, so watch out for your friends and set a good example by never driving under the influence.

Stay Safe
Remember to be an alert and conscientious driver. Always obey Georgia's traffic laws and follow signals. Keep a cool head and don't succumb to road rage when other drivers are less than polite. If you are on the road, you risk being involved in a car wreck, but if you follow the rules and stay focused, you greatly reduce your chances of causing an accident.

Get Help
If you have been involved in a car crash, are the victim of a DUI vehicle collision, or have been hit by a car or truck, don't hesitate to contact Shane Smith Law. 

No accident is too major or too minor for you to ask a lawyer for advice.

Shane Smith
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