2008 traffic accidents down overall in Warner Robins

WARNER ROBINS — Drivers following too closely and rear-ending other vehicles was the main reason for 2,792 traffic accidents in 2008, which were down 9 percent from the previous year, a Warner Robins police study released Wednesday shows.

“It comes down to driver attention,” Warner Robins police Maj. John Wagner said. “Drivers need to focus.”

Wagner said he hopes that traffic enforcement curbed the overall number of accidents but also expects that soaring gas prices, especially during the summer, may have decreased the number of drivers on the road.

While overall accidents were down, fatalities increased from three in 2007 to six in 2008. The study found that two of the 2008 fatalities were from drinking and driving, two from speeding, one from failure to yield the right of way and one from a heart attack.

No drunken-driving related traffic deaths occurred in the two previous years, Wagner said. In the two last year, the drivers who were drinking and driving were the victims, he said.

“Two is obviously too many,” Wagner said. He said efforts to educate drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving will continue, as will safety check points and patrols for drunken drivers.

The study also looked at the most accident prone intersections. Ranked as No. 1 was Russell Parkway at Moody Road, while No. 3 was Moody Road at Russell Parkway. This wasn’t a mistake, Wagner said, but a distinction based on where the accident happened on a main or secondary road.

An accident that occurred on Russell Parkway, a main roadway, or vein, would be listed as Russell Parkway at Moody Road, while an accident on the secondary, or artery road of Moody Road at Russell Parkway would be listed as Moody Road at Russell Parkway.

Obviously, the bulk of accidents occurred at this intersection, Wagner said. Russell Parkway is a major corridor — running from Robins Air Force Base at Ga. 247 to Interstate 75.

Watson Boulevard at Carl Vinson Parkway ranked No. 2 for most crashes, and No. 4 was Watson Boulevard at Collins Avenue. Watson Boulevard is the other major corridor. Russell Parkway at Kimberly Road was No. 5.

Other highlights from the study showed December had the highest number of accidents, while January had the lowest. Also, most accidents occurred on Fridays, and the fewest happened on Sundays during 2008.