Update: 16 fatalities reported on Georgia Roads by midnight Jan. 1 over the New Year travel period

press releases from georgia department of public safety

Update at 12 a.m. on Jan. 2, 2023

By midnight on Jan. 1, 2023, 16 people had died on Georgia roads over the New Year travel period. Two people died on Gwinnett County roads on New Year’s Eve but no fatal crashes were reported in Walton County at this time.

Update on morning of Dec. 31, 2022

The Georgia Department of Public Safety is reporting that five people had died on Georgia Roads during this year’s New Year’s holiday travel.

ATLANTA, GA – (Dec. 30, 2022) This weekend signals the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 and as friends and family gather together to say goodbye to the old and ring in the new, motorists are urged to drive safely when traveling on Georgia Roads.

“We want everyone to enjoy the holiday season with family and friends; however, we want all motorists to make safety a priority when traveling on Georgia’s roadways,” Colonel Chris. C. Wright, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety (DPS), said in a press release in advance of the Christmas and New Year travel period. “Drivers should obey the posted speed limit, avoid distractions, drive sober, wear seatbelts and ensure children are properly restrained, as well as be courteous to other drivers.”  

AAA estimates 112.7 million people will journey 50 miles or more away from home from December 23 to January 2.  In addition to increased traffic, the end-of-the-year is also the time when Troopers and Officers see an increase in the number of impaired drivers on Georgia’s roads.

“I encourage all to plan holiday activities wisely. Choose a designated driver before you celebrate; and if you plan to drive, please do not drink,” Wright said.

NEW YEAR’S HOLIDAY 
12/30/223:00 –7:00 PMBefore 2:00 PM, after 8:00 PM
12/31/22                        Minimal Traffic Expected
1/1/23                             Minimal Traffic Expected
1/2/234:00 –7:00 PMBefore 3:00 PM, after 8:00 PM

Source: INRIX

During the holiday period, an updated traffic fatality count will be published on the Department of Public Safety’s Twitter page: http://www.twitter.com/ga_dps.

DPS wants everyone to arrive safely to their destinations. Please review this checklist they have provided in preparation for your trip on the road. 

  • Before You Go: Make sure all fluids (gas, coolant, oil, windshield wipers, etc.) are to their required levels; check your tire pressure including the spare tire; and check your battery, brakes, belts, hoses, filters, and lights before getting on the road. 
  • Prepare a Car Emergency Kit: Make sure you know where you are going; check the weather and road conditions; make sure you have important numbers for emergency services programmed in your phone; make sure you have your phone charging cables, jumper cables, flashlights, snow chains, ice scraper, shovel, and tool kits; purchase or make sure your first aid kit is filled; include blankets, pillows, water and snacks for long trips and possible delays; and make sure you have your masks and hand sanitizer. 
  • While on the Road: Know the laws of the road in the states where you travel by visiting their state websites/apps; pay attention to posted speed limits; make sure everyone is properly restrained in the vehicle including booster seats for those children under 8; consider filling up your tank when it gets to half full; keep more than a car length apart between you and the vehicle in front of you (two lengths apart in inclement weather), and don’t drive impaired which includes taking medication.   
  • Stay Safe and Alert: Be aware of aggressive drivers and/or impaired drivers and report them to 911 or *GSP while on Georgia’s roads; make sure you have plenty of gas between exits; take breaks and stretch at well-lit rest stops to avoid falling asleep at the wheel; share driving responsibilities to avoid fatigue; don’t leave valuables, including gifts visible in your vehicle; and remove any distractions that will take your attention off the road.

Traffic crashes across Georgia during the 2022 Christmas holiday travel period resulted in 13 traffic deaths resulting from 10 fatal crashes. This year’s 78-hour holiday travel period began Friday, Dec. 23, at 6:00 p.m., and ended Monday, December 26, at 11:59 p.m.

Statewide, Georgia State Patrol (GSP) Troopers investigated five fatal crashes causing seven fatalities. Local agencies reporting traffic deaths during the 2022 Christmas holiday travel period include the Atlanta Police Department, Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, DeKalb County Police Department, and Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.

In addition to fatal crashes, Troopers investigated more than 335 traffic crashes resulting in over 150 injuries. Additionally, more than 207 individuals were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI), while nearly 5,000 citations and 6,500 warnings were issued.

This year’s fatal crashes slightly decreased from the 2021 Christmas travel period when 18 deaths stemmed from 16 fatal crashes.  Currently, it is too soon to determine why the number of fatalities and fatality crashes diminished this year; however, Troopers heavily patrol the roadways during the Christmas travel period, with the goal of reducing fatalities. Variables such as the number of drivers traveling, weather, the economy, and other factors impact each year’s final fatality and crash numbers.

2022 Christmas Holiday Traffic Count
78-Hour Holiday Travel Period
Friday, December 23, at 6:00 p.m., to Monday, December 26, at 11:59 p.m.

Total Fatalities Reported in GeorgiaDeaths
Fatalities Investigated by GSP Troopers7 (5 fatal crashes)
Fatalities Investigated by Local Agencies6 (5 fatal crashes)
 13 (10 fatal crashes)
GSP TroopsAgencies reporting fatalitiesTotal FatalitiesTotal Crashes
Troop APost 3 Cartersville (1)11
Troop BPost 52 Hartwell (2); Post 7 Toccoa (1); Forsyth County SO (1)43
Troop CAtlanta PD (1); DeKalb County PD (1)22
Troop DBibb County SO (3)32
Troop EPost 25 Grovetown (2)21
Troop FPost 42 Rincon (1)11
Troop G   
Troop H   
Troop I   
  1310

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