This photo shot by the passenger of a car Sunday evening at the intersection where Interstate Highway 675 merges into Interstate Highway 75 South below Atlanta shows the heavy volume of traffic, which was at a crawl. State officials say there were 15 traffic deaths on Georgia roads and highways over the 102-hour Thanksgiving travel period that ended at midnight Sunday, six fewer than in 2012. (Staff photo: Jim Hendricks)
ATLANTA — As traffic poured through Georgia’s highways and roadways, preliminary numbers from the Georgia State Patrol indicate the 2013 Thanksgiving holiday may have been a safer journey than in 2012. Traffic fatalities in the state were down from 21 in 2012 to 15 over this holiday period, a 28.6 percent decline.
According to reports from the Georgia Department of Public Safety, state troopers worked 556 crashes over the 102-hour Thanksgiving holidays that stretched from 6 p.m. Wednesday to midnight Sunday. There were 244 injuries in those wrecks, including 10 fatalities. The only south Georgia post reporting a fatality was Tifton.
In addition to the traffic fatalities worked by troopers, traffic deaths were reported by Macon, DeKalb County and Athens-Clarke County police departments. Two fatalities were reported by the Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department.
In 2012, Georgia troopers worked more wrecks — 682 — with more injuries — 380 — and 11 deaths. Statewide during the 2012 Thanksgiving travel period, there were 21 deaths, 1,161 injuries and 3,590 crashes worked by all law enforcement departments.
AAA The Auto Club predicted that 1.12 million Georgians would travel by auto over the holiday period that ended Sunday.
Department of Public Safety officials say the highest number of traffic deaths ever recorded for a Thanksgiving holiday period in Georgia was 43 in 1969. The lowest was four in 1949.