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Georgia Study will Probe Seat Belt Use, Distracted Driving Rates

Emory University will kick off a study later this year that will focus on the rates of seatbelt use as well as distracted driving rates among motorists in Georgia. The study is extremely important because the failure use a seatbelt and distracted driving account for a significant number of the personal injuries and wrongful deaths suffered in car accidents.

The  study is courtesy state funding for the  Injury Prevention Research Center at Emory. The Georgia Governor’s Office of  Highway Safety  has announced a grant of more than $296,000 for the division.  The  money will be used to better understand the kind of factors that affect driving behaviors among motorists in Georgia. The  Injury Prevention Research Center plans to send trained observers to more than 400 sites across the state, and study factors like gender and age group that affect rash driving behaviors.

The  Emory researchers will specifically focus on seatbelt usage rates across Georgia.   This is a particular area of concern for Georgia transportation authorities. Seatbelt usage rates across the state have been on a steady decline over the last couple of years. Georgia transportation authorities recorded seatbelt usage rates of 89.3% in 2022,  and these rates had dropped  to 87.6% last year.

The Emory researchers will be focusing on the causes for the decline, based on the behaviors of people who seem to be neglecting seatbelt usage. Women, for instance, seem to be much more likely to wear seatbelts compared to men.  Front seat passengers are also more likely to buckle up in Georgia, compared to drivers. Motorists above the age of 70 are the most likely to buckle up with rates above 90%, while those between the age of 16 and 24 are least likely to buckle up with rates of just 85%. Drivers in the metro Atlanta region are the most likely to buckle up with rates above 89% while rates outside the Metro regions were as low as 83%. Understanding seatbelt usage behaviors can help transportation authorities design and execute awareness and safety campaigns that specifically target drivers who are   least likely to buckle up.

Another area of concern that researchers expect to include in the study is the rate of distracted driving across Georgia and the factors influencing these behaviors. Rates of handheld cell phone usage increased from 5.8% in 2022 to 6.8% in 2023.  It is important to understand whether the increase in distracted driving is directly linked to a drop in seat belt usage rates.  The  researchers will be looking at this connection particularly closely.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered injuries in car accidents in the  metro Atlanta region and across the state of Georgia.  If  you or a loved one have  suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and discuss your legal options for a claim for damages.   You  may qualify for a claim that helps you recover damages for medical expenses, lost income and other types of compensation. Talk  to a lawyer at our firm and discuss your options for a claim.  Initial  consultations are free.

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