Sister's tragic story teaches safe driving - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Sister's tragic story teaches safe driving

Alex Sorohan tells the story of her brother Caleb Alex Sorohan tells the story of her brother Caleb
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

After more than five years of declining traffic fatalities, the number of deaths on Georgia roads could go up this year. 

So far in 2012, 1,013 people have died in crashes in the state. State traffic safety officials worry this holiday season will see an increase in the number of cars traveling in Georgia and potentially more people dying in crashes.

It's easy to talk about traffic statistics, but those numbers represent real people killed in crashes, leaving behind grieving families. One young lady told us about her brother, who died while texting and driving.

18 year old Alex Sorohan met with family members in Albany Tuesday morning, as she traveled the state with Georgia public safety officials. The Berry College freshman's brother Caleb died almost three years ago while texting and driving.

"And for that second he looked down at his phone, and he swerved into the other lane and hit another car head on. The crash he was in killed him instantly," Sorohan said.

Caleb's death inspired Georgia's texting while driving ban, which bears his name, Caleb's law.  "I promise you, you don't want to feel the heartache and the pain that my family feels every year around this holiday season."

AAA says more than 39 million Americans will travel by car more than 50 miles over the long Thanksgiving holiday period. State officials say they expect thousands to drive through Georgia to Florida in the next two days.

"With the amount of people that are moving about locally and those folks that are moving in and out of the state, there is going to be a lot more folks on the roadway,"  said GA Public Safety Commissioner Colonel Mark McDonough.

1,226 people died on Georgia roads in 2011, 213 less than have died already in 2012. With 41 days left in the year, that would be an average of five deaths per day to pass last year's death total.

"we know this is the most deadly time on Georgia roads. That's five people a day that we might lose, and we think that's too many. The whole idea is not for the sake of numbers. These are lives that have been changed forever," said Harris Blackwood, Director of the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.

Georgia officials urge drivers to use caution over the long holiday weekend, and save lives, so more families can avoid the grief that comes with the loss of a loved one.

You have heard the travel safety warnings-- slow down, wear your seat belt, don't drink and drive, and don't text while driving. State officials know with the increased number of drivers on Georgia roads, the traffic dangers will increase significantly.

Nationally, there has been a 13.5% increase in the number of traffic fatalities so far this year over the same period in 2011.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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