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What Is the Leading Crash Contributor in Marietta?

Improper lane change, failing to yield while turning left, disregarding a traffic control device and a couple of other violations were all negligible in their impact on the root causes for vehicle collisions in the city of Marietta.

Increased vehicle traffic, coupled with busy schedules, cell phones and technology advances in vehicles have led to an increase in driver distractions and motor vehicle accidents, according to a press release from Marietta Police Public Information Officer David Baldwin.

The Marietta Police Department conducted a study of the main contributing factors that led to vehicle collisions inside the city. The results concluded that Following Too Close was responsible for over fifty percent of all vehicle collisions, according to the release. 

Improper lane change, failing to yield while turning left, disregarding a traffic control device and a couple of other violations were all negligible in their impact on the root causes for vehicle collisions.

Advanced vehicle designs and safety features have greatly increased the survivability for drivers and passengers that are involved in vehicle crashes, according to the release.

Despite these advancements collision avoidance is still the best remedy and can be achieved by following a few simple guidelines: 

  1. Use the 2 second rule. You should always allow two seconds between your car and the car in front of you to allow ample time to react to a situation. For every adverse driving condition (anything other than daylight driving) add an additional second to the time frame. If it is raining and night time add an additional 2 seconds (one second for the rain and one second for driving at night).
  2. Scan to the horizon. Although paying attention to the vehicle in front of you is important, being able to anticipate potential problems by looking ahead and up the road can be crucial in avoiding a collision.
  3. Limit distractions in the vehicle. The use of smart phones, GPS’s, advanced entertainment packages in vehicles and even passengers can all lead the driver to do everything else but pay attention to the road.  Focusing on driving and limiting distractions will greatly increase your ability to avoid accident.
  4. When stopping, watch the tires. When you come to a complete stop, make sure you can see the tires of the vehicle in front of you.  This will allow you to ample space for an “escape route” in the event a situation unfolds where you need to make a sudden lane change to avoid a collision.

For over the past three years, the Marietta Police Department Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) Unit has partnered with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and dedicated officers to the Highway Enforcement of Aggressive Traffic (HEAT) program.

The HEAT program is designed with four primary goals:

  1. reducing impaired driving crashes;
  2. reducing excessive speeding;
  3. increasing the safety belt usage rate; and
  4. educating the public about traffic safety. 

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