Georgia scores a ‘D’ in avoiding preventable deaths, new safety report says

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Erica A. Hernandez-AJC

Preventable deaths are at an all-time high and states like Georgia aren't doing enough to protect their residents, according to a new report from the National Safety Council.

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In fact, more than 140,000 American lives are lost each year due to preventable circumstances.

The new report included state-by-state grades for road, home, community and workplace safety.

Analysts used data from multiple sources for the report, including the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census and more for the report.

Of all the estimated preventable deaths in 2016, 40,200 fatalities occurred on the road; 121,904 in homes and communities and 4,836 in the workplace.

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The top three causes of preventable death were poisonings (America’s opioid crisis), firearms and older adult falls, which largely contribute to traumatic brain injury and additional injuries.

Read the full National Safety Council report.

After analyzing how each state was protecting against deaths at work, in homes and communities and on the road, the council gave Georgia an overall safety grade of “D,” ranking it 34th in the country.

No state aced the overall safety grade.

Georgia received a “B” in road safety, an “F” in home and community safety and another “F” in workplace safety.

The report also assigned states sub-category grades for each indicator. For example, for the speeding category, three indicators were analyzed: red light cameras, urban interstate speed limit of 55 miles per hour and lower speed limits in school zones.

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Indicators carried varying weights.

Here’s how sub-category grades looked like for the speeding category:

  • On track: states with all indicators in place
  • Developing: states with a majority of indicators in place
  • Off track: fewer than two indicators in place

Take a closer look at Georgia’s grades below:

Road safety: B (10th in the country)

Fatalities in 2015: 1,471

Georgia scored off track for protection against deaths involving child passengers, seat belts (or lack thereof), and speeding.

In February, the state unveiled safety and maintenance patrol on roadways to help stranded motorists and clean any debris on highways, the AJC previously reported.

Counties like Gwinnett have also planned to spend SPLOST funds on pedestrian and road safety projects.

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Home and community safety: F (43rd in the country)

Fatalities in 2015: 2,780

Georgia scored off track for protection against deaths involving firearms, home fires and youth sports-related concussions.

Workplace safety: F (42nd in the country)

Fatalities in 2015: 158

Georgia scored off track for workplace death prevention when it comes to prevention, preparedness and enforcement, which includes safety and health programs for employers, OSHA coverage, a state workplace safety committee mandate and an enhanced 911 program for employers.

Read Georgia's full safety report.