On the second day of 2017, the large lit sign hovering over I-75 on Arkwright Road and Riverside Drive in Macon already reads that nine people have died on Georgia roads since Friday, the start of the New Year's weekend.

"You see some of the people just racing down the interstate and they don't look at the sign," David Levear said.

Although the sign showed more than 1,000 car deaths last year, drivers like David Levear say people don't pay attention to that sign when they're driving. Or at least, he says, they don't act like it.

In 2015 the sign read 1,432 deaths. That number grew to 1,500 in 2016.

Kyle Collins with the Georgia Department of Transportation says that number could still grow even more as local reports are processed and added.

"Driving is dangerous," GSP Trooper Sgt. Kevin Pope said.

Georgia State Patrol Trooper Sgt. Kevin Pope says there are so many contributing factors to a car accident. Contributing factors that could sometimes be prevented.

"Just based on my experience, I would say that probably upwards of 80% or 90% of accidents are preventable," Pope said.

Pope says he hopes in 2017, people are more cautious.

He offers a few tips to stay safe this new year:

  • Watch your speed
  • Put your phone down
  • Plan ahead for travel time, don't rush
  • Don't drink and drive
  • Turn on your headlights, even if they're automatic

So regardless of where you're going this new year, be safe.

"We don't want to be another fatality on that sign," Levear said.