Deadly weekend on Georgia highways - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Deadly weekend on Georgia highways

November 26, 2005

Albany- The Thanksgiving holiday driving period is even deadlier than expected in Georgia. Nationwide, 30 million people will drive more than 50 miles this week. So far, drivers in south Georgia have been on guard with no fatal crashes reported by the GSP. The state is reporting 14 fatalities, one more than expected for the entire weekend. Troopers say they want you to arrive home safe this holiday weekend.

South Georgia's shopping malls aren't the only busy place this weekend, highways are also getting their fair share of traffic and accidents.

"We got stuck in some bad traffic coming down here because of a big accident and I just don't think people ever pay attention, people talk on their cell phone and they cut other people off," said driver David Barnes, of Atlanta.

With one day left in one of the busiest travel periods motorists are urged to be careful as they head for home after the holiday gathering. Troopers are pressing drivers to be watchful.

"It's the other people a lot of times that will cause an accident, a lot of people should stay focused, make sure they're doing everything right while their driving, but then again it's that other person not paying attention talking on the cell phone, listening to the radio," said Trooper Scott McClure, Georgia State Patrol.

"Oh I never think drivers are safe. I wasn't any more nervous coming down here than I normally am," said Barnes.

This time of year drivers can be distracted easily.

"Bills, shopping, who to buy what for, and so they're distracted, it's easy to get distracted out there on the road, phone calls, answering your cell phone, where your going next, where your going to eat, that's not what you should be thinking about while your driving." said McClure.

That's why you should take every precaution.

"Make sure everybody in your car is buckled up, your children, yourself, even in a pick up truck," said McClure.

Driving the speed limit will get you there in the same amount of time.

"Just slow down and take it easy. You can drive 80 miles per hour and think you're going to get there faster, it's not going to make that much difference, but when you do have an accident at 80 miles per hour you are going to wish you weren't going that fast I promise you," said McClure.

A good practice is using alternative routes, it could keep you out of traffic and get you home safely and quickly.

"I came down 75 and I'll probably go back through Columbus," said Barnes.

This Thanksgiving weekend has been deadlier than last year when there were only nine fatalities. Of those nine deaths, six were not wearing their seat belts. State Troopers encourage you to buckle up before you head out.

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