Accidents due to distracted driving are on the rise in Atlanta and across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about nine people are killed and 1,000 people injured every day in the United States due in part to distracted driving. While vehicle safety features along with traffic laws and systems have helped reduce traffic deaths over the last several decades, the number of deaths has again been on the rise. This is likely due to an increase in the use of cell phones while behind the wheel.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving includes any activity that takes your eyes or mind off the road while you are behind the wheel. Distracted driving falls into one of three general categories including visual, manual and cognitive functions. Visual distraction occurs when you take your eyes off the road. Manual distractions are those that happen when you take your hands off the steering wheel, and cognitive distractions are those that take your mind away from the task at hand – driving.
Many types of activities can be considered distractions. Talking to passengers, changing the radio station, eating or drinking, applying makeup and reprimanding children are all common types of distractions. By far the most common distraction today is the use of a cell phone. Texting while driving has become a very serious concern. It is also distracting to use other types of electronic devices such as GPS units.
Prevention of Distracted Driving in Atlanta
Georgia law prohibits drivers from texting while driving and teen drivers are prohibited from the use of cell phones entirely. The ban, known as Caleb’s Law, was implemented in 2010 and makes it a criminal offense to text while behind the wheel. However, there still continue to be accidents related to texting while driving.
Taking your eyes off the road to read or respond to a simple text message can take 10 seconds or more. During this time you could travel the distance of several football fields. Many problems can occur when you aren’t paying close attention to traffic. Drivers should put their phones away and respond to text messages after they pull off the road and park. Utilize a hands free device for cell phone use while you drive. Don’t drive if you are angry or upset, and if your children are not behaving properly you need to pull over to deal with the situation.
What to Do After a Distracted Driving Accident
Distracted driving can be a major factor in an accident. The first thing to do if you have been involved in an accident is contact the police. The police will take witness statements and interview each driver to determine what caused the crash. Sometimes a witness or surveillance video will be available to show that the other driver was using his cell phone at the time of the accident. An experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney will evaluate the case and help gather evidence necessary to prove your case and get you the compensation you deserve for your damages. Contact The Bader Law Firm for a free consultation to discuss the details of your accident today.