Facing A Fender-Bender? You Aren’t Alone.


Image by Rosy from Pixabay

Like many friends, enemies, and casual acquaintances, I was in a car accident last year. It was a minor at-fault fender bender, and all was well; neither car needed repairs.

Others, however, weren’t so lucky. Rachel Baker, a 22-year-old psychology major at Georgia Southern’s Armstrong campus, gave me the following synopsis of the recent wreck that totaled her Kia:

“I was driving to work Sunday morning and it was raining, and incredibly humid out. I went to brake at a stop light and my car skidded into the car in front of me. I was found at fault for ‘following too closely’ and given a warning.”

The details of my and Rachel’s accidents were consistent with the most commonly documented collision in Chatham county, according to the Georgia Department of Transportation: rear-ending.

Twenty-six thousand sixty-one of the wrecks in Chatham county between 2017 and 2023 were considered rear-endings, making up 37.19% of the 70,069 that occurred within the county in that timeframe.

An anecdote from Armstrong student Franklin Andujar, a 19-year-old computer science major, details another similar experience. He’d been driving on Abercorn St. on his way to work last year when another vehicle rammed into his back bumper, and boom. Someone involved is suddenly served a higher insurance premium.

The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reported 1,226 annual car accident-related fatalities in 2012, which swelled to 1,664 by 2020- the year people left their homes at an unprecedentedly low rate.

Dear readers, I chid you not: As I was typing the previous paragraph, Ezzi Abbott, a 21-year-old Armstrong student, sat down with my friends and me and declared that she was just in an accident on Highway 204. The details of the accident include- you guessed it- a rear-end collision.

You aren’t alone if you’ve recently found yourself in a fender-bender. Increases in virtually every driver’s ed risk factor are evident when faced with the numbers. Despite the disheartening statistics, the Georgia Department of Transportation has a few tips to help keep your pristine plate number out of the wrecker registries.

As the GA DOT always says, Armstrong: Drive alert; Arrive alive.