Month after month, West Walnut Avenue has the highest number of crashes in Dalton. The crashes are concentrated between Market
Street to Dug Gap Road. While the majority of these crashes are not
severe in nature, many could be avoided. 42% of all crashes in Dalton are rear-end crashes and West Walnut Avenue
is no exception.
There are several different causes for these rear-end crashes, but the most common contributing factor is a driver not paying attention to his or her surroundings. The West Walnut area is very congested with traffic,
especially during the lunch rush and the evening commute. During lunch hours, drivers are pressed for
time to leave work on their break, rush to a restaurant and grab a quick bite and then hurry back to work. Sometimes, drivers eat their lunch as they hurry
back to work which is distracted driving.
times we think of distracted driving as using a cell phone or texting while driving. The truth is that there are many more distracted driving behaviors every day on Dalton's streets. Distracted driving can be defined as any
action that causes a driver to be less safe while operating a motor
vehicle. Trying to un-wrap a
hamburger or reaching down to pick up a drink can be a distraction. Just a split second of taking your eyes off
the road is enough to cause an accident.
Eating is just one of the distractions seen by Dalton officers.
Adjusting the radio/CD player or the heat, reaching for an item that has
fallen in the floorboard, looking at a GPS, reading, holding conversations with
passengers or tending to a child can all be very distracting and lead to a
crash. And, of course, perhaps the most obvious distraction is talking or texting on a cell phone.
to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 20% of all
crashes can be attributed to a distracted driver. Dalton
is no different. Based on monthly
statistics compiled by the DPD's Traffic Enforcement Unit (TEU), crashes caused by distracted driving
are more common than crashes caused by speeding or driving under the influence. The worse news is that distracted driving crashes contribute to more injury crashes than other factors.
of the high number of rear-end crashes and crashes related to distracted
driving, the DPD TEU and officers from the patrol division will be conducting special traffic enforcement details in areas such as West Walnut Avenue and other high crash areas to target drivers who are driving
distracted. Officers will also look for
other moving violations that contribute to crashes, such as following too closely and improper lane changes. Officers will
be conducting traffic stops and speaking with motorists about violations that
are causing crashes. The goal of these operations is to lower the number of crashes through enforcement and
department also offers safe driving programs to any organization that request
it. A request for a safe driving program
for your group or organization can be made by contacting an officer from the Traffic Unit at 706-278-9085, ext.9124.