Highway Accident Report

Adopted: May 21, 1975
AUGUST 21, 1973

NTSB Number: HAR-75/04
NTIS Number: PB-243597/AS

On August 21, 1973, a passenger car and a truck, both westbound, collided on the Chattahoochee River Bridge on I-20 in Cobb County, Georgia. Traffic was congested and moving slowly in the right westbound lane from the Six Flags Road off-ramp eastward to the vicinity of the Chattahoochee River Bridge. The driver of the car, apparently attempting to avoid the traffic ahead, veered from the right lane into the left westbound lane, where the car was struck by the overtaking truck. Four of the five occupants of the car were killed, and the other severely injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the driver of the car to control her automobile while attempting to avoid unexpected slower moving vehicles ahead. Her failure resulted in an erratic move to the left and into the path of the overtaking truck.
Contributing to the accident were unexpected congestion which required a hazardous stop in the right lane, and land-use practices that permitted the generation of traffic in excess of the safe and efficient operating capacity of the roadway.


As a result of the investigation of this accident, the National Transportation Safety Board on August 15, 1974, submitted recommendations to the Federal Highway Administration (see Appendix A). The Safety Board further recommends that the Federal Highway Administration:

(1) Establish a research program to identify and analyze the cause and effect relationships among the factors of land-use planning and control, highway facility design, and traffic safety. Such research should be in consultation with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the several States. (Recommendation H-75-14) Priority Classification III - Long Term Followup

(2) If traffic safety is shown to be adversely affected by current land-use practices, develop and promulgate guidelines and standards for the comprehensive planning of highway transportation facilities and the land uses that affect their safe operation. (Recommendation H-75-15) Priority Classification III - Long Term Followup