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      Fatal accidents climb as holidays near

      The number of drivers increases around the holidays, and with fatal accidents in Dougherty, Tift and Lowndes County in the past week alone, police are putting out some tips for drivers to prevent that number from climbing.

      More traffic means more accidents, and officials say during this time of the year they tend to have a common cause.

      "A lot of times there's two factors involved and they would be speed and the condition of your tires. You go too fast, your tires don't have any tread, therefore the rubber no longer meets the road and you wind up in the ditch," said Sergeant Ted Wertz with the Dougherty County Police Department.

      If you don't know what the treads on your tires should look like, officials say it's not hard to figure out.

      Put the penny in one of the grooves of your tire with Abraham Lincoln's face towards you. If the treads don't reach the top of his head, that means it's time to change your tires.

      Despite what condition they're in, with the recent rainfall and the expected showers to come, authorities say if you don't put enough distance between you and the driver in front of you, there may be no preventing an accident if you have to suddenly stop.

      "Try and find a fixed point or a fixed object. As soon as they pass that fixed object, estimate six to ten seconds or if you're going 50 miles per hour, five to eight seconds, somewhere around that time frame. Basically add a second for every ten miles that you go," said Trooper Daniel Joiner with Georgia State Patrol.

      Also during the holidays, police say it's not uncommon to see a driver who had a little too much fun at a party, and if you happen to see a car swerving, call 911 and stay back.

      If all drivers follow these tips, officials say the roads will be a lot safer and the number of fatalities will hopefully stop climbing.