Yesterday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirmed something I’ve known since I moved to Atlanta five years ago: Georgia residents are bad drivers! How bad? A nationwide survey by GMAC Insurance listed Georgia drivers as 32nd out of the 50 states. Although this statistic shows major improvement since last year, when Georgia drivers ranked 47th in the same survey, motorists here are still well below the national average.
The statistics listed in the study are certainly scary, but they won’t keep me off the roads. Increased awareness of the problem, better traffic control in Atlanta, cell phone accessories to keep drivers off the phone- or at least to keep phones easily accessible, since talking while driving is still legal in Georgia- and a small rant (which follows below) can solve the problem.
As one of my co-workers pointedly retorted when I mentioned the study, “Many people move to Georgia from other places. They don’t know our laws. They get lost. They are the reason the roads are bad.” I wouldn’t go so far as to place all the blame on the out-of-state-ers (then again, I hail from the Windy City), but I do concede that Atlanta is one of the more confusing cities I have ever driven through. Even worse, the streets are narrow, the lights are not synced and many roads do not have left turn lanes.
Still, we here in Georgia need to take some ownership over the findings, especially since the study also noted that one in four motorists drive while talking on a cell phone, eating or adjusting their radio or iPod. I know I’ve done it. As soon as traffic gets bad I reach for my phone and start chatting away to pass the time. Well readers, I hereby vow to have better driving habits. My cell phone and iPod will stay in their cases and that snack will just have to wait until I get home!
Authors note: This post is in no way meant to offend any of you great Georgia drivers out there. Keep up the good work!
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