Snowed Cars in Traffic

Holiday Driving: North Georgia Road Safety Tips

December is an exciting time of year. Perhaps the most wonderful time. But with all of the shuffling and last-minute store runs that come with the holiday season, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers that can occur from the moment you – or anyone – take to the wheel in North Georgia. 

Taking the time now to readjust your travel habits can keep you and your loved ones safe. Let’s review the traffic risks in North Georgia and how to avoid them during the holiday season.  

December 2022 Driving Stats 

Data from the Georgia Department of Public Safety can help illustrate why December and particularly the Christmas and New Year’s holiday periods among the most dangerous times on North Georgia’s roads.  

For example, in the 78-hour Holiday Travel Period from Dec. 23, 2022 (at 6 p.m.) to the end of Dec. 26, Georgia State Patrol Troopers investigated 10 fatal crashes causing 13 fatalities. Furthermore, troopers investigated more than 335 non-fatal traffic crashes resulting in over 150 injuries.  

Even more recently, the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) released its Thanksgiving 2023 Holiday Traffic Count. GSP troopers investigated 12 fatal traffic crashes, and local law enforcement agencies investigated six fatal traffic crashes resulting in 23 deaths across Georgia between Nov. 22 and Nov. 26. These statistics should be a sobering reminder for safer driving during what should be a joyous time.  

Traffic Trends in Woodstock 

The numbers in December speak to bigger traffic risks in North Georgia. A focus on just Woodstock is a telling example of why stronger safety measures are needed. In its 2022 Year End Report, the Woodstock Police Department noted it responded to 29,302 calls for service in 2022, averaging 2,442 calls a month.  

This included 7,238 traffic citations and 1,755 roadway accidents – nearly five per day for the year. If this year repeats the trend, Woodstock alone could see 150 roadway accidents during December 2023.   

But pedestrians and professionals are also at risk in North Georgia. In October, the owner of a tow truck company was struck and killed by a passing car on I-575. Woodstock’s 11 Alive reported that the man was attempting to connect a dump truck at the time of the accident, which is why he was listed as a pedestrian. Heightened alertness is clearly needed to avoid similar tragedies.   

Safe Travel Tips 

With so much activity expected on North Georgia roads in December, this is the ideal time to revisit travel tips from the Georgia Highway Patrol so that you can enjoy a safe holiday season: 

  • Do not drive impaired. Designate a sober driver, call a taxi, rideshare service, friend, or family member to get you home safely. 

  • Make sure all riders wear seatbelts. Also, properly install child safety seats. Georgia law requires children under the age of eight to be in either a car seat or booster seat suitable for their age, weight, and height. 

  • Show common courtesy to other motorists and pedestrians on the roads. Be mindful of your fellow motorists, especially the most vulnerable, pedestrians and cyclists. Stop at all stop signs, traffic signals and crosswalks, and check your blind spots. 

  • Pay attention to large trucks and buses. Leave extra space when merging in front of these large vehicles, anticipate wide turns, stay a safe distance back, signal clearly when merging in front of, or passing, and be patient. 

  • Do not drive distracted. Refrain from performing any activity that may take your focus off the road, such as texting while driving. As previously discussed, the Hands-Free Georgia Act prohibits all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.   

Additionally, always pull over to the right side of the road if you are in distress or have a flat tire. This will make it easier for other drivers to see and pass you.  

When Jack Frost Nips 

North Georgians and Woodstock residents should prepare for the possibility of a White Christmas. We’re approaching the 10-year anniversary of “Snowmageddon,” the ice and snow that brought Georgia highways to a halt in January 2014. The few inches of the wintry mix caused accidents and delays, and several Cherokee County students were stuck inside the schools overnight, as the roads were too difficult to navigate.  

Staying updated with weather forecasts and filling up your gas tank (or charging your vehicle) ahead of a freeze or significant temperature drop will help keep you safe, especially since you’ll want to be off the road in the event of snow. 

Pritchard Injury Firm Wishes You A Safe and Happy Holiday Season! 

Your GA/TN Pedestrian Accident Lawyer 

Understanding liability in motor vehicle accidents is crucial for victims seeking fair compensation for their injuries and losses. In Georgia and Tennessee, car accident cases involve intricate legal considerations, and multiple parties may share liability. 

If you or a loved one were injured while due to the negligence of another person, our attorneys are here to help. The mission of Pritchard Injury Firm is to provide you and your family with the highest quality of legal help available and a professional, stress-free experience. Contact us today

Timing Is Everything 

INRIX lists the worst times to travel by car over the Christmas and New Year holidays, and in 2022, suggested the best travel times: 

Dec. 23 

Best travel time: Before 2 p.m. and after 8 p.m. 

Dec. 24  

Before 11 a.m. and after 7 p.m. 

Dec. 25  – Christmas Day – Minimal traffic is expected. 

Dec. 26  

Before 12 p.m. and after 7 p.m. 

Dec. 27 - 30. 

Before 2 p.m. and after 8 p.m. 

Dec. 31  and Jan. 1, 2024 – Minimal traffic is expected. 

Jan. 2   

Before 3 p.m. and after 8 p.m. 


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