For the majority of people, driving is an everyday part of life. It has become so mundane that many people regularly engage in various activities while operating a vehicle, such as putting on makeup, sending a text, and even streaming videos.
Effective July 1, 2018, Georgia’s Hands Free law seeks to reduce distracted driving. Read more about it here.
However, it only takes split second for a distracted driver to cause a serious motor vehicle accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately eight people are killed and 1,161 are injured every day in the United States because of distracted driving.
As a true epidemic, several state and federal government agencies are leading the effort to educate drivers and prohibit distracted driving practices. Some states, like New Jersey, are even considering implementing new laws to banish distracted driving altogether.
Continue reading to learn more about what causes drivers to become distracted on the road from the car accident attorneys at Ashenden & Hollingsworth, P.C. in Atlanta.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is defined as operating a motor vehicle while engaging in activities that remove your attention from the task at hand. This dangerous practice endangers you, other drivers of motor vehicles, bystanders, and other passengers.
While distracted driving can include a virtually endless list of activities, these activities will typically fall into one of the following three categories:
- Visual distractions that require drivers to actually take their eyes off the road.
- Manual distractions that cause drivers to remove their hands from the wheel.
- Cognitive driving distractions that result in drivers taking their minds off of driving.
Unfortunately, all it takes is a few seconds of distracted driving to cause a serious accident with substantial injuries and property damage.
Texting While Driving, Smartphone Use, and Other Driving Distractions
Certain activities – such as texting or using a smartphone – are known to take the driver’s attention away from the road for longer periods and more frequently than other activities. Texting while driving or using a smartphone is dangerous and one of the most common causes of distracted driving accidents.
Sending the average text message may cause you to divert your eyes away from the road for a mere five seconds. However, if you are traveling 55 mph, this is enough time for the vehicle to travel the entire distance of a football field and cause serious damage.
Texting while driving is one of the major driver distractions, but there are several others, including:
- Playing smartphone games like Pokémon GO or Words With Friends
- Putting on makeup or grooming
- Drinking and eating
- Operating a navigation system
- Changing the radio station
- Talking to other passengers
Contact Ashenden & Hollingsworth, P.C., for a Free Consultation
Throughout the United States, several legal efforts have been launched to discourage and target drivers who engage in risky driving practices, especially texting while driving. Most recently, Georgia expanded on legislation to make it illegal to text on mobile phones while driving. In 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted a law that prohibits drivers of commercial vehicles from texting while driving.
Even with new legislation, some people continue to engage in distracted driving practices. If you or a loved one were injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, the personal injury attorneys of Ashenden & Hollingsworth, P.C. can help hold the responsible party accountable. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, time missed from work, and other losses.
Contact Ashenden & Hollingsworth, P.C., today to schedule your free consultation at our Atlanta, Georgia, office.