Traffic Deaths Rise More Than 400 Percent on Christmas Weekend

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Valdosta, GA - Traffic fatalities during Christmas weekend in Georgia have increased by more than 400% since last year.

"That kind of concerns me real bad" said one Lowndes County resident.

Shane Copeland is a Georgia State Trooper. He said "unfortunately what we are coming to see is that a lot of these accidents are alcohol related and many are seatbelt related."

The Georgia State Patrol investigated 685 crashes this Christmas weekend. That weekend started at 6PM on Friday and ended at midnight on Tuesday. During that time period there were 300 injuries.

Many of which were caused by less obvious factors than booze or seat belts.

Trooper Copeland went on to say "a lot of the vehicles you'll see stacked high with gifts and presents and luggage to the point where they cant utilize their windows and mirrors. Unfortunately I know from experience that these do cause a lot of crashes."

Lieutenant Aaron Kirk of the Valdosta Police Department said "you don't want to put your family at risk. So you want to make sure you drive defensively."

So far this year there have been more than 1,100 people killed on Georgia's roads.