Month: May 2013

Georgia Has Bridge Accidents Waiting to Happen

The collapse of an I-5 bridge into the Skagit River in Washington reminds us, again, that our bridges are literally falling down around us. There are an estimated 66,000 structurally deficient across the country. In Georgia, there are 941, which ironically is quite good, placing the state 42nd in total number of structurally deficient bridges. But the news is not quite grounds for celebrating. There are three bridges in Georgia like the I-5 bridge that collapsed. They are functionally obsolete and fracture critical. This means they are well beyond their design thresholds for the number of vehicles they carry and the weight of those loads. This increases the risk of car accidents, which as the I-5 Bridge demonstrated, can bring the structure crashing down. The problem is many of these bridges were built as inexpensively as possible. They have no structural redundancies, so if a single girder or truss fails,…

Every Month Should be Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

In Georgia, Governor Nathan Deal announced that May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. With Memorial Day weekend approaching, summer is here and more bikes will be on the roads and highways. The Governor reminded every driver to share the road and work to avoid motorcycle crashes. As every biker knows, the risks they face are much greater than a driver in a car protected by crumple zones and airbags. On a motorcycle, the crumple zones are otherwise known as your legs and arms. With more than 200,000 motorcycles registered in Georgia, and thousands of cyclists passing through the state on vacations and road trips, there are too many opportunities for unnecessary motorcycle accidents to happen. Riders need to be extra aware, as it is not just other cars and trucks that pose a risk to a motorcyclist. The story from WJBF tells of one rider who collided with a deer. He attributes…

The Danger of Drowsy Driving

You know the feeling. Driving along I-75, heading out of Macon to Florida, down I-16 Savannah, or even going home after a long day at work following a late night with too little sleep. Your eyelids feel heavy and you catch your head dropping. No, you didn't just nod off, just a little tired, that's all. But you did. You just experienced drowsy driving. While much less recognized than its more famous relative drunken driving, but it is still a killer. In the last decade ending in 2010, 11,000 people died in drowsy driving car accidents. The larger question is how to deal with this problem. Unlike other causes of accidents, drunk driving, illegal or prescription drugs, or cellphone use, there is no easy test that can be used to obtain some evidence of how sleepy someone was at the time of an accident. Even the number of deaths may be…

Father’s Drunk Driving Leads to Daughter’s Serious Head Injuries

Drunk driving accidents devastate lives in every state, including Georgia. With so many injuries and deaths resulting from DUI accidents each year, it's no exaggeration to say that drunk driving is a scourge. Recently in Albany, Georgia, a drunk driving father actually caused serious head injuries to his own 6-year-old daughter, according to police. The little girl had to be transported to Macon's Medical Center of Georgia, where she was given treatment in the Intensive Care Unit and said to be in critical condition. The father was approaching an intersection in his SUV when his vehicle ran into the rear of a tractor-trailer that was stopped on the road. The man's daughter was wearing a seatbelt, but she still wasn't properly restrained because she was riding in the front seat. The father initially lied about the circumstances of the crash, according to state police. He claimed that another motorist forced him to…

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