Distracted driving continues to be among the most common cause of car accidents throughout the Atlanta region. Texting while driving is the source of thousands of accidents across the country every year, with many of them fatal. But there are numerous other ways to drive while distracted and put other people at risk.
If you or someone you love has been hurt or killed by a distracted driver, you deserve to be compensated by the person who chose to drive so unsafely. The personal injury lawyers at the Hadden Law Firm in Atlanta, Georgia, can help.
Statistics Show that Distracted Driving Causes Car Accidents
Nowadays, nearly everyone is aware of the dangers of driving while distracted. However, despite the awareness that has been raised by public service announcements, commercials, and even traffic tickets for driving while on the phone, people continue to drive while distracted. Statistics for accidents that are associated with distracted driving continue to rise.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 3,166 people were killed by a distracted driver in 2017, alone. That number, however, is likely far below the truth, as it can be difficult to determine if a crash was the direct result of a distraction.
Georgia has actually provided one of the most intriguing statistics about the danger of driving while distracted. In July 2018, a new law went into effect in Georgia that banned people from holding their cell phone or other electronic devices while driving a car. The number of traffic fatalities in 2018 dropped 2.3% from 2017, at one point dipping by 11% from the year prior.
Types of Distractions While Behind the Wheel
Although texting while driving gets most of the publicity of distracted driving, there are actually countless ways for drivers to be distracted while behind the wheel. Some of them do not even require the use of a cell phone at all.
Prominent examples of distracted driving include:
- Texting (sending or receiving a text takes five seconds, long enough to travel 120 yards at 55 miles per hour)
- Making a phone call (AAA says it can take 27 seconds to refocus on driving after making a phone call)
- Using GPS or a directions app on a smartphone
- Surfing the internet
- Interacting with young children in the car (87% of drivers with children were likely to drive while distracted, compared to 74% of childless drivers)
- Applying makeup
- Changing the radio
- Enjoying scenery on the roadside
The common element in each of these activities is that the driver's attention is distracted from the road. When their focus is split between driving and any other activity, it drastically reduces the odds that they will notice an upcoming road danger and be able to react appropriately. If they cannot and that leads to a car crash, an innocent driver can be severely injured through no fault of their own.
Phone Records are Used to Prove Distraction After a Crash
After a car accident, it can be important to prove that the other driver was distracted so they can be held liable for the accident and the losses that it has caused. Proving it, though, can be tricky.
When the distraction was caused by cell phone use—if they were on the phone at the time of the crash or were sending or reading a text message—it can leave a record. Cell phone records detail when calls or texts were sent or received and can sometimes even show when a smartphone was being used to access the internet.
Demanding a driver's cell phone records is increasingly becoming a standard strategy for people who have been hit and hurt in a car crash. If the records show that the other driver was on the phone or was texting when the accident happened, it can be strong evidence that they were distracted and should be held liable for the crash and its consequences.
Car Accident Lawyers in Atlanta at the Hadden Law Firm
The car accident attorneys at the Hadden Law Firm legally represent victims of motor vehicle accidents through the region. They know that people drive while distracted all the time, and know to look for evidence of distracted driving after a crash to see what really happened and who was actually responsible.
Contact them online to get the legal help that you need to make a full recovery and hold a distracted driver accountable for the actions and their poor decisions.