A majority of all car accidents involving a single vehicle are linked to distracted driving. According to data by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, as many as 68 percent of single vehicle collisions involve people who were concentrating on something else rather than driving at the time.
The data came from a fact sheet which considered different types of distraction that could impact a driver’s concentration and impede his ability to drive a car safely. This distraction included manual, cognitive, and visual distractions. Manual distractions include those involved in holding or reaching for an object like a cell phone while driving, eating or drinking, changing climate controls or radio stations, fiddling with GPS systems, handling pets or doing other activities that cause the driver to move his head from the steering wheel even for a few seconds. Cognitive distractions included daydreaming, thinking of other things like work while driving as well as loud noises or sudden movements that could impede a driver’s focus on driving. Visual distractions include distractions from billboards, looking at phone displays or looking at anything else inside or outside the vehicle leading to the driver taking his eyes off the road even for a few seconds.
You do not need to spend an entire minute looking at something else or having your attention diverted from the task of driving to be involved in a distracted driving accident. Even a few seconds of distraction can be sufficient to cause an accident. In fact, previous studies by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute have found that a car can travel the length of a football field in just, four seconds which is less than the average time taken to open and read a text message.
According to the fact sheet by the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, as many as 56 percent of car accidents involve at least one distracted driver. When it comes to accidents involving an injury, as many as 46 percent of all accidents were suspected to have involved a distracted driver. In fact, it is not always easy to pinpoint distracted driving as a factor in the accident. Unless electronic records are involved, it can be challenging to prove that a driver was eating, looking elsewhere or was otherwise distracted while driving.
Distraction was also a major factor in single-collision accidents that may involve not other vehicles, but barriers, objects or pedestrians. New Georgia laws that restrict the use of hand-held devices have provided law enforcement a tool to help curb this menace to some extent. Georgia’s Hands-Free law allows for drivers to be cited for distracted driving even if they do not cause an accident. According to the fact sheet, the number of distracted driving convictions increased by a staggering 5.5 times between 2018 when 965 convictions were processed, and 2019 when 5,344 convictions were processed. The number reveal that distracted driving continues to be an ever increasing threat on the roads.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be eligible to file a claim for damages for your losses. Talk to an Atlanta car accident lawyer at the Katz Personal Injury Lawyers, and determine your legal options to a claim for compensation. You may qualify for compensation that includes medical costs, lost income and pain and suffering.