Last year, there were 1,170 deaths on Georgia roads; the human toll as of late Wednesday was 1,182.
Although police are still investigating the causes of many of the accidents, officials believe the increase is due at least in part to distracted driving. Many of the fatalities were single-car crashes that occurred after a driver lost control of a vehicle and veered off the roadway.
"This is an alarming trend that we are seeing, and even more alarming is that it is mostly attributable to human behavior," said Georgia Department of Transportation Commissioner Russell McMurry. "We need people to take responsibility for their lives and that of their loved ones and ensure that they buckle up, put down the phone, and do not drive impaired."
In response to the troubling trend, GDOT has launched a safety awareness campaign called Drive Alert, Arrive Alive, where drivers can sign an online pledge to buckle up, not text and drive, and stay alert.