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Throughout Atlanta, drivers are at risk of becoming involved in a motor vehicle accident as a result of being distracted by their smart phones or other electronic devices. This April, during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a new product was released that is likely to make the risks of distracted driving accidents exponentially worse: that product was the Apple smart watch. worker-adjusts-watch-1365362-m

While Georgia has laws in place to restrict the use of electronic devices in an effort to prevent distracted driving, it is not 100 percent clear what impact existing laws are going to have on motorists who purchase and wear the Apple watch.  Motorists who do choose to wear this watch and who are distracted by it can be held accountable if they cause a crash due to their unsafe behavior. An Atlanta distracted driving accident lawyer should be consulted to provide assistance to victims of accidents caused by a driver distracted by a smart watch.

Smart Watches Are Going to be Dangerous for Drivers

According to Fast Company, the law has not yet caught up to the new technology and so motorists may be able to use the Apple watch in their vehicle without breaking the law. This does not mean that they should choose to do so.

The use of the Apple watch could significantly increase the dangers of a motor vehicle accident. There have not been a lot of studies done yet on how a smart watch is going to impact a motorist’s ability to safely drive his vehicle.  Despite this, the studies that have been completed seem to present bad news.  One study showed that the use of a smart watch by drivers was significantly more distracting than the use of a smart phone.

A smart watch is more distracting than a phone because it is always accessible since it is right on a driver’s wrist. The driver does not have to reach for the watch or make a conscious choice to keep the phone in arm’s length when he is in the car since the watch is always right there. Since the watch is more accessible, the driver is more likely to take a look at it. Not only that, but the research also suggests that a motorist is more likely to look at the watch for a longer period of time than he would look at his phone for.

If further research confirms that smart watches are more dangerous, this could have a devastating impact on accident rates.  Apple sold around a million smart watches during just the first week after releasing the product at the end of April. The company is going to sell around 30 million more smart watches this year based on current estimates. A significant portion of the population is soon going to have a watch on their wrist that is continuously and repeatedly taking their focus away from the road.

Drivers need to be responsible for their own actions and need to understand that the use of a smart watch when in the car is going to make accidents far more likely. Drivers need to take off their watch or otherwise take steps to ensure it is not a distraction behind the wheel.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused by a distracted driver. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

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In the state of Georgia, teens do not get their full license immediately. Instead, drivers between the age of 15 and 18 participate in a graduated driver’s license program established by the Teenage & Adult Driver Responsibility Act (TADRA).  TADRA was put into place as a result of a collective effort of lawmakers, educators, the media, businesses, and highway safety advocates after a number of high-profile tragic motor vehicle accidents that led to unfortunate deaths among young drivers. drive-time-676275-m

Teen drivers do not have the experience or the maturity level to make smart and safe choices behind the wheel. Unfortunately, this means that young people face a significant risk of becoming injured in a motor vehicle accident.  An Atlanta car accident lawyer can help victims of motor vehicle crashes to take legal action against those who are responsible for causing losses. When a teen driver causes a crash, victims of the accident can still file a lawsuit even though most teens have no personal assets to pay for losses, because teens must have motor vehicle insurance to pay for the damages they cause.

Graduated Driver’s Licensing Helps to Reduce Atlanta Car Crashes

TARDA involves a three-step education process that young people must go through before they are given the right to drive in Georgia.

  • When a teen turns 15, the teenager becomes eligible for an instructional permit. The teen who drives with this permit must be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21-years old.
  • After a teen has had an instructional permit for 12 months and passed a driving test, the teen is eligible for a Class D Intermediate License. This license allows the teen to drive, but with restrictions. The teen is not allowed to drive between midnight and 5:00 AM, with no exceptions.  During the first six months after the Class D license is issued, the teen cannot drive a car with any passengers who are not members of his immediate family. During the second six months, the teen cannot have passengers (other than family members) who are under 21. Finally, after the second six month period, the teen is not allowed to have more than three other non-family members who are less than 21.

Graduated licensing programs like the one in Georgia have made a substantial impact on reducing the number of young people who become involved in motor vehicle accidents. Nerd Wallet reports that the number of fatal crashes involving teens nationwide has fallen by more than half of the past decade. There were 5,724 teens aged 16 to 19 involved in fatal crashes in 2004 compared with just 2,568 teens in deadly accidents in 2013.  Graduated licensing programs, specifically, have been credited with causing anywhere from a 10 to 30 percent average reduction in teen collision rates.

Parents and teens should be aware of the positive impact of graduated licensing rules and should be certain that all Georgia teens follow the restrictions imposed by TARDA as they move through the process of getting their full license to drive.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused by a teen driver. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

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Atlanta accidents can happen any time of the year, but there are certain days that are much more dangerous for motorists than others. Yahoo News has listed 10 days of the year when there is a significantly greater chance of becoming involved in a motor vehicle accident. Most of the days on this list are holidays or special occasions during which people significantly increase their road travel and there are many more people on the roads. The high-risk days also include times of the year when people are significantly more likely to consume alcohol and then drive their vehicles. calendar-1072482-m

Motorists need to refrain from drinking and driving and exercise care at all times while operating their vehicles, especially if there are more people on the roads. If a driver is careless, an Atlanta car accident lawyer can help victims of any crashes resulting from the driver’s negligence. Crash victims or their surviving family members may be entitled to compensation for all losses caused by a motorist who is behaving in an unsafe way.

When are Atlanta Car Accidents Most Likely to Occur?

The 10 days on Yahoo’s list of the most dangerous times for drivers include:

  • Memorial Day
  • The start of daylight savings time
  • Black Friday
  • Days when there are NFL games being played
  • Friday the 13th
  • New Year’s Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • St. Patrick’s Day

This month, motorists need to understand the added risk that memorial day represents.  There are around 400 deaths in car accidents over the three day Memorial Day weekend each year, which is a 13.1 percent increase in the number of deaths compared with other non-holiday weekends.

Memorial Day, like many of the other high-risk days, involves both more motorists and a greater chance of people being intoxicated. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, the Fourth of July, and St. Patrick’s Day are also days when there are far too many drunk people on the roads.  On St. Patrick’s Day each year, for example, around two of every five motor vehicle collisions involve a driver who has consumed too much alcohol.

Black Friday’s risks are based on the fact that there are so many more people on the roads than usual. Around 70 million people go to malls on Black Friday to get their holiday shopping done. One insurance company has reported that claims made for accidents on Black Friday are double claims on normal Fridays.  The risk of parking lot accident claims increases by 36 percent on this shopping holiday.

Daylight savings, on the other hand, is a very dangerous time for motorists because of the change in drivers’ routines. Motorists have to cope with different light patterns that can affect visibility and make it harder for them to see obstacles on the road.

Regardless of the specific reasons why these days are so much more dangerous than others on the road, drivers need to be aware of the added risk and make smart choices to keep themselves and their passengers safe.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused by a negligent driver. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. 

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In the past 20 years, more than 30 percent of all deaths in motor vehicle accidents have occurred in crashes involving at least one motorist who was intoxicated at the time of the fatal accident. Costs associated with drunk driving losses total around $60 billion annually when considering medical and legal expenses, wage loss, and lost productivity. glass-of-wine-1423645-m

An Atlanta DUI accident lawyer at Sammons & Carpenter can help victims who got hurt in drunk driving crashes so they can pursue a claim for compensation. A driver who was drunk and who causes an accident must compensate victims for their injuries or compensate surviving family members of people killed in crashes. Far too many families end up facing the grief of a permanent injury or death due to a drunk driver, and Georgia laws aim to get these victims the money they need so they can try to pick up the pieces and move on.

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Georgia is one of the majority of states that have prohibited texting and driving. States have moved forward to ban sending and reading text while behind the wheel because distracted driving crashes are so much more likely to occur when a driver is texting. In fact, a texting driver is as much as 23 times more likely to get into a crash compared with a driver who is paying attention. mobile-phone-1104507-m

Since texting bans in most states have been in place for several years, researchers decided to conduct a survey in order to determine if these bans have had an impact. News Max recently reported on the results of the research, which revealed that there has been a decline in motor vehicle accidents in states with texting bans. Drivers need to be aware of texting bans and follow them in order to help contribute to the decline in traffic deaths. If motorists chose to drive while texting, an Atlanta distracted driving accident lawyer can help victims of any resulting collisions to pursue a claim for compensation if a crash occurs. Continue reading →

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Technology has found its way into vehicles and many people rely on devices in their cars in order to keep them safe and tell them where they are going. The use of technology in cars is actually expanding, and self-driving cars are rapidly becoming a real possibility that may be available to consumers soon.  Unfortunately, all of this reliance on technological devices can make consumers complacent and can put them at risk of crashes when technology fails. car-navigation-system-by-gps-1-236993-m

Ultimately, drivers are the ones who are responsible for being safe and making smart choices behind the wheel and drivers will be the ones who are held accountable when they fail to do what they are supposed to. An Atlanta car accident lawyer at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can provide legal representation to clients injured in crashes caused by drivers who have relied too much on technology and not enough on common sense and following safety rules. Continue reading →

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Drowsy driving is difficult to prevent because it is hard to make laws regarding whether private citizens can drive their cars when they are tired. While truckers have maximum drive time rules to follow, these types of rules would be virtually impossible to pass or enforce when it comes to average motorists on the road. girl-in-bed-1034045-m

In 2013, around four percent of drivers admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a nationwide survey. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has also estimated that between 2.2 and 2.6 percent of all deadly U.S. crashes involve fatigued drivers. This seems like a low percentage of crashes, but it still means that 72,000 crashes every single year are caused by people who are too tired to be safe drivers.

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Teens are the age group most likely to become involved in car crashes for many reasons. One big reason why teens are at such great risk is that they may be more susceptible to distraction. Many young people use electronic devices as they drive. Teens with young passengers in the car with them are also not very effective at multi-tasking and tend to become involved in more crashes than if they are in the vehicle alone. boys-1185050-m

While the dangers of distracted driving accidents have been well-known for some time, a recent study conducted by the AAA Traffic Foundation shows that the risk to teens may be much worse than previously anticipated.  The new AAA study suggests that teens may be four times more likely to become involved in distracted driving crashes than earlier estimates showed.  Continue reading →

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Drunk drivers are supposed to lose their license for a set period of time. The specific amount of time varies depending upon whether they have prior offenses and, in some cases, how high their blood alcohol concentration was at the time they were behind the wheel. The goal of these restrictions is both to act as a deterrent to prevent drunk driving and to keep people who could potentially be dangerous off of the roads. bottles-745639-m

Since DUI license suspensions are supposed to make the roads safer, it may come as a surprise that Mothers Against Drunk Driving is in support of one city’s plan to eliminate an automatic 30-day suspension for impaired motorists. There are multiple arguments being made as to why this automatic suspension should be lifted, but the key is that it would instead be replaced by a requirement that DUI-offenders have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles.

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Cities throughout the United States are taking innovative steps to try to eliminate traffic fatalities. Varying techniques are being employed, ranging from lowering speed limits to pushing non-vehicle transportation, in an effort to achieve “Vision Zero.” Some of these plans are modeled after systems used in other countries that have been successful at achieving dramatically lower death rates than the United States. crashed-car-1148745-m

While no fatalities of any motorist may be an unrealistic goal, it is still a good goal to set if it can focus lawmakers’ attentions on the problem of motor vehicle deaths and if it leads to policies being put into place that make the roads safer. Anything that reduces the number of people killed in traffic accidents is a step in the right direction because fewer deaths means fewer families suffering tremendous financial and emotional loss. Continue reading →