Month: March 2014

Death certificates miss most alcohol impaired drivers

Drunk driving remains a significant problem in the U.S. Every year, thousands of motorists die in accidents caused by intoxicated drivers. Sometimes, a single impaired driver runs off the road in Georgia, late at night, strikes a tree, and dies alone. Other car accidents may involve a drunk driver running into a van with a family, killing or seriously injuring the members of a family, who had been innocently returning home from a movie. While much has been done in the last few decades to address this problem, from lowering the amount of alcohol that determines legal impairment to stricter enforcement and stiffer penalties, there is still a long way to go in the fight to prevent the death and destruction caused by drunk driving accidents. But in order to know what we should be doing, we must know how well we have done. In most cases, a death certificate lists…

St. Patrick’s Day: don’t rely on luck-call a cab

No one really needs to be told drunk driving is something that should be avoided. During the last 30 years, there has been an endless stream of studies examining and explaining the dangers of drunk driving. Additionally, the penalties for drunk driving have been ratcheted up, year after year, with significant fines and severe punishment likely outcomes of any DUI arrest and conviction. With tonight being St. Patrick's Day, announcements again have been made by the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety to warn residents that Georgia state troopers, county sheriffs and local police will all be out in force on the roads to prevent drunk driving accidents. The death, destruction and mayhem caused by alcohol impaired driving are truly staggering. In 2013 alone, the number of people killed in Georgia in alcohol-related collisions increased by six percent to 161. Many people may dismiss 161 as rather insignificant compared with the population…

What are the chances?

Cars present a multiplicity of ways to kill an occupant. When an object that weighs more than a ton can move at speeds approaching 100 mph, the physics of the situation suggest a bad outcome should any part of the system suddenly stop. Crashes can range from vehicles striking another car head on, to drivers losing control, running off the road and hitting trees or utility poles, or vehicles rolling over and ejecting drivers and passengers. With all of the potential types of car accidents, it is a wonder anyone arrives home safe each night. But, as they say on the television commercials, "Wait! There's more!" Sadly, a truly bizarre set of circumstances played out in northern Florida, when a car driving on a highway lost a front tire. The tire, still moving at full speed, bounced along the shoulder, went airborne when it hit the driveway apron of a body…

The pain remains long after the accident

Every motor vehicle accident is tragic. No one gets into a car or on a motorcycle with the intention of dying. The tragedy is multifaceted. It affects families in different ways, sometimes killing a husband or father outright, other times severely injuring a mother or child, leaving them with crippling injuries, years of rehabilitation and a lifetime of pain. More than 30,000 Americans are killed every year in motor vehicle crashes, or nearly 100 every day. Few deaths in Macon are as infamous at the one that occurred after a motorcycle accident on October 29, 1971. Duane Allman, leader and guitarist of The Allman Brothers Band had just returned from visiting New York. He was in a great mood, according to a letter sent to his young daughter, explaining the events of that day. He should have been, as the Allman's had released At Fillmore East and he had worked that year…

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