State Representative John Carson (R-Marietta) today announced that traffic fatalities, crashes and related insurance claims are down in Georgia.

“I am very pleased to see that Georgia drivers are incurring fewer crashes and fatalities.  The Hands-Free Georgia Act was all about saving lives, and I believe that’s exactly what it is doing,” said Rep. Carson.  “I sincerely hope these life-saving trends continue for the benefit and safety of all Georgians and their families.”

As of Sept. 30, 2018, fatalities from traffic crashes in Georgia are down 11 percent year to date, which represents the largest decrease of Georgia’s traffic fatalities in 10 years.  Year to date, there have been 128 fewer fatalities in 2018 over 2017. 

Further, according to Georgia State Patrol figures for statewide data, traffic crashes were down in the months following the July 1, 2018 implementation of the hands-free driving law.  Traffic crashes in July and August were down 2.5 percent and 8.9 percent, respectively, over the same periods in 2017.  Preliminary data for September 2018 showed an even greater decrease in crashes.

In addition, according to recent data on the Georgia private passenger auto insurance market, insurance claims have decreased for the first time in years.  Quarterly insurance claims decreased in both frequency and severity in the third and fourth quarters of 2017. 

This trend continued and further improved into the 1st quarter of 2018, where crash frequency was down two percent and crash severity was down 1 percent.  According to Dr. Robert Hartwig, Ph.D., CPCU, Clinical Associate Professor of Finance, Risk Management & Insurance at the University of South Carolina, “Collision claim frequency and severity are declining for the first time in years.  Increased awareness of the consequences of distracted driving ahead of recent hands-free legislation is a likely factor.”