Distracted Driving -

The Danger Posed By Distracted Drivers

Distracted drivers put the safety of other drivers, passengers, and bystanders at risk.

A distracted driver is as high as 48 times more likely to be involved in an accident than non-distracted drivers. Recent studies suggest that approximately 431,000 people are injured by distracted drivers every year, according to Distraction.gov.

What Qualifies as Distracted Driving?

Drivers can be said to be distracted whenever they allow their attention to be diverted away from driving. Distracted driving as an activity can be described as anything that takes your attention away from driving when you are behind the wheel.

Younger drivers are distracted more easily than older drivers. As such, the largest percentage of distracted drivers is made up of drivers under 20 years of age. Moreover, 10 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 who are involved in auto accidents report being distracted just before the accident occurred.

Typical behavior that leads to a driver being distracted include:

  • Talking on cell phones
  • Taking selfies or other pictures
  • Texting
  • Eating or drinking
  • Fumbling around with GPS or other devices
  • Engaging with passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading road maps
  • Watching videos

Genuinely safe driving requires 100 percent of the driver’s attention – in other words, it requires 100 percent of a person’s visual, mental and physical attention.

Mental distractions slow a driver’s reaction time and cause “inattention blindness,” meaning that the driver will have difficulty noticing important visual information, such as brake lights on the car ahead or a pedestrian crossing the street.

How to Spot Distracted Drivers

Distracted drivers are prone to exhibit the following behavior:

  • Drifting in and out of their lane
  • Neglecting to use their turn signals
  • Braking suddenly
  • Failing to maintain an even rate of speed (they often drive slower than the traffic around them)

These types of behaviors can lead to rear-ending vehicles ahead of them, crossing the centerline and causing head-on collisions, or even injuring and killing pedestrians and bicycle riders.

Distracted Drivers and Cell Phones

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), 50 percent of all drivers multitask while driving, and 34 percent use their cell phones when driving on a regular basis. In fact, it is estimated that up to 660,000 drivers are on their cell phones at any given moment.

This is especially dangerous, since sending or receiving a text message distracts a driver away from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, this means that a driver is “driving blind” for 100 yards – the entire length of a football field – with each new text.

Furthermore, driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by an average of 37 percent! In fact, studies have shown that a driver who is texting is as much impaired as one driving at the legal blood-alcohol limit of .08 percent. This leads many to refer to distracted driving as the “new drunk driving.”

Distracted Driving Laws in Georgia

Georgia laws prohibit drivers from engaging in any action that distracts them from safely operating their vehicles. They also specifically limit the use of cell phones in the following ways:

  • It is prohibited for anyone under the age of 18 to use a cell phone (handheld or hands-free) while driving.
  • School bus drivers are prohibited from using cell phones (handheld or hands-free) whenever the bus is loading or unloading and whenever the bus is in motion.
  • All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving, regardless of their age.

Contact an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in an auto accident in Georgia and a distracted driver was at-fault, the evidence needed to establish fault and win your case must be obtained quickly before it cannot be recovered. This includes cell phone records and eyewitness testimony.
Distracted drivers cause serious accidents and millions of dollars in property damage. At T. Madden & Associates, we know that you need compensation for your injuries, lost wages and pain and suffering – we can help you seek justice. Call 770-978-6711 or contact us online today to get started.

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