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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.

Developing effective ways to prevent DUI accidents is essential, regardless of the specific methods used. Those who are hurt or who lose loved ones in drunk driving accidents face tremendous loss. An Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyer at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can provide legal representation to victims and help them to recover compensation for both economic and non-monetary damages.

Could Ignition Interlock Devices Stop Atlanta Drunk Driving Accidents?

The Chicago Tribune reported on the proposal, which has been made by the Illinois State Bar Association, to lift the required 30-day suspension of a person’s license after a DUI arrest. The proposal is not only supported by Mothers against Drunk Driving, but another local advocacy group called Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists has also expressed qualified support.

The 30-day suspension is supposed to apply to everyone and be mandatory, but this is not actually happening. Instead, some people are working out deals to avoid it in exchange for paying large sums of money. People end up being desperate not to lose their license, since the vast majority of people absolutely need to drive in order to go to their jobs or take their children and family members where they need to go. So, some people get the benefit of paying big money to stay on the roads even after a DUI arrest, while others don’t. These plea deals with big fines do nothing to improve road safety, and eliminating the 30-day required suspension would reduce the incentive for the deals to be made.

The suspension also results in many people driving with a suspended license because they simply feel they have no choice but to do so. This makes the roads even less safe.

If the requirement for the suspension was lifted and instead every motorist had to have an ignition interlock device installed, this would help to ensure people weren’t driving drunk since they would literally be unable to start their cars if they were impaired.

Many advocacy groups believe ignition interlock devices are one of the keys to stopping repeat DUIs, and many argue that they should be a requirement for all DUI offenders. Since they are not currently mandatory after a DUI, many people do become repeat drunk drivers- sometimes stopping only if they are jailed for causing a deadly collision or an accident that leads to serious injury.

If you or someone you love is the victim of a collision with any drunk driver, you need to know your rights.

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

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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.

When traffic accident deaths do happen, victims need to understand their rights. An Atlanta car accident lawyer at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can provide representation if you or someone you love is hurt in a motor vehicle accident. Call today to learn more.

How to Achieve Vision Zero

Washington D.C. became the latest city to adopt a vision zero traffic plan. Other cities including New York City, Portland, San Francisco, and Chicago have also adopted vision zero, but Atlanta has not done so. Georgia’s plan to reduce traffic collisions is instead a “strategic highway safety plan” that is “data-driven” and “focused on key initiatives that can be attained through…. education, engineering, enforcement, and emergency medical services.”

Vision zero is based on a county-wide program that Sweden adopted in 1997 that has been tremendously successful (over the course of 2013, only 264 people died in all road crashes in Sweden). The principles of vision zero include things like:

  • Designing roads by prioritizing safety, rather than prioritizing convenience or speed.
  • Setting low speed limits in urban areas.
  • Creating pedestrian zones and putting up barriers separating cars from bicycles and oncoming traffic.
  • Building 900 miles of “2+1” roads that require each lane of traffic to take turn using a middle lane for passing (This alone is estimated to have saved 145 lives over the course of a decade).
  • Adding pedestrian bridges.
  • Adding zebra striped crosswalks that are protected by speed bumps and demarcated by flashing lights.
  • Adding a total of 12,600 safe crossings for pedestrians.
  • Strict policing to reduce drunk driving.

New York City has reduced its speed limit to 25 MPH in residential areas recently, borrowing from Sweden’s model, and D.C. already has the limit set at this level. New vision zero efforts for most cities will likely involve redesigning streets in order to improve safety for bikers and walkers.

It remains to be seen how successful these efforts are at reducing fatalities in U.S. cities. If other locations are successful, perhaps Atlanta too will one day introduce a vision zero plan.

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

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) can initiate rules and, if those rules are passed, can impose requirements on vehicle manufacturers. This includes manufacturers of large trucks. The NHTSA will start the rule making process if it is believed there is a legitimate safety need that could be served. i-haul-299523-m

Trucking Info reports that four different highway safety lobbies have petitioned the NHTSA to begin the rule making process to create a rule requiring forward collision avoidance and mitigation braking systems on all new trucks and buses that have a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 or more. The hope is that these systems would reduce the risk that truck driver error could cause the trucks to hit obstacles in their path.

While technologies can help avoid crashes, ultimately responsibility for driving safely will continue to fall on the trucker. If you or someone you love is hurt in a crash with a commercial motor vehicle, an Atlanta truck accident lawyer at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you and help you to make a damage claim for compensation.

Trucking Advocates Argue for Mandatory Crash Prevention Technology

Safety advocates arguing that there is reliable technology available that can help reduce truck crashes today- so there is no reason not to mandate that this technology be used.

The F-CAM technology use sensors and radar to detect if there is an obstacle in the path of the driver. If the driver does not respond right away to the Forward Collision Warning (FCW), then the vehicles will brake automatically when the truck gets too close to something in front or detects a slow-moving vehicle in front. The automatic braking system is called a Crash Mitigation Braking (CMB) system. Even if the CMB system does not necessarily stop the truck in time, it would at least reduce the speed of the vehicle and lessen the impact and crash severity.

F-CAM and CMB systems are already installed in many commercial motor vehicles; but not all. The systems that are currently installed are not subject to any national performance standards and not all trucking companies buy the systems. In fact, just three percent of more than three million standard tractor-trailers on U.S. roads today have this type of crash prevention technology.

Safety advocates believe if the NHTSA initiated rule making and moved forward with a rule, standards could be developed, the technology could be improved, and lives could be saved because more vehicles would be able to stop automatically before striking another car. Trucking Info quotes data suggesting as many as 2,500 crashes could be prevented with current technology and up to 6,300 crashes could be prevented with future generation systems. This is a lot of lives that could be saved if the NHTSA acts.

Regardless of what the agency does, truck drivers need to continue to pay attention to the road and stop when there is something in their path. If a distracted driver doesn’t stop on time and causes a collision, an Atlanta truck accident attorney can help victims take legal action for resulting loss.

The Atlanta truck accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused by a big rig, tractor trailer or other commercial vehicle. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

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Pedestrians remain at significant risk of injury or fatalities in Atlanta car accidents. The Governors’ Highway Safety Association recently released a troubling new report indicating that the death rate of pedestrians remained almost unchanged nationwide in 2014 as compared with 2013. While the report is based on preliminary data, it is still bad news for pedestrians considering there were significantly more walkers killed on the roads in 2013 than there were just a few years ago. pedestrian-crossing-box-1193996-m

Pedestrians are at risk for a lot of reasons, including the fact that most roads are still designed primarily for the convenience of drivers. Efforts to make roads more pedestrian and bike friendly are underway, but there is still a need for significant improvement.

Another big issue, however, is that drivers remain unsure how to safely share the road with people who are walking. Drivers need to take responsibility for paying attention to the road, looking for pedestrians, and driving in a reasonably careful way to keep walkers safe. If a pedestrian is killed because of a driver’s failure to be reasonably careful, an Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can provide assistance to the deceased’s family members in pursuing a wrongful death claim.

Atlanta Pedestrian Accident Death Toll Remains High

In 2013, there were around 15 percent more pedestrians killed in car crashes than there were in the year 2009. There were a total of 2,141 pedestrians who lost their lives in motor vehicle collisions during the first six months of 2013. Preliminary data has been provided for 2014 deaths from Washington D.C. and all 50 states, and this data indicates that around 2,125 people were killed in the first half of 2014. This means that close to as many pedestrian deaths occurred in 2014 despite efforts that are underway nationwide to try to save lives.

The fact that progress is not being made on reducing fatalities among pedestrians is troubling to the GHSA Executive Director, who commented that the GHSA’s goal is to bring the number of deaths down to zero. A former chief scientist at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also lamented the slow progress on reducing the number of deaths among pedestrians in motor vehicle accidents.

There has been some progress when looking at the long-term picture. In 1975, there were 7,516 pedestrians killed over the year as compared with 4,735 deaths during the whole of 2013. However, when comparing the percent of pedestrians killed in motor vehicle crashes, the decline actually does not seem very significant. The rate of pedestrians killed in all car crashes was 17 percent in the 1970s and early in the 1980’s. In 2013, it was 14 percent.

Clearly, much more needs to be done since it has taken decades to even achieve this slight decline. Some states have increased their outreach efforts to educate the public on pedestrian safety while other government authorities are focused on changing road design to make the roads a safer place for people who opt to walk. Unfortunately, improvements are slow and the death rate will continue to be high until every motorist makes a commitment to be safe behind the wheel. If drivers don’t make the choice to watch for pedestrians and exercise reasonable care, pedestrian accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. are here to help you hold them accountable.

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

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Over the past 40 years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has conducted five National Roadside Surveys in order to better understand the problems of drunk driving. The most recent survey has been released and shows that while significant progress has been made in reducing drunk driving, there has been a major increase in the risk of drugged driving.

Motorists need to be aware of the biggest risks on the road when it comes to impaired driving. If someone is behind the wheel who has used either prescription or non-prescription drugs, that person can be held accountable for causing a collision. An Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyer can provide assistance to victims or surviving family members in pursuing a damage claim after a drunk driving crash occurs. weed-742772-m

Risks of Drugged Driving Collisions in Atlanta

The NHTSA study works by conducting a survey on the side of the road. Drivers are given a test that determines if they are on drugs or drunk at the time they are behind the wheel. The survey is voluntary and there are signs warning motorists that the survey site is ahead.  The data is collected anonymously and those who are drunk or on drugs are not arrested if they are considered impaired but instead are offered rides home.

The first of the surveys was conducted in 1973, and the most recent survey before the 2015 release was in 2007.

Since the 2007 survey, the number of drivers who tested positive for having alcohol in their system declined by around 1/3.  Since the first survey in 1973, there has been an 80 percent decline in the number of people who are drunk. The significant reduction in drunk drivers shows the success of groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving and of campaigns like “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk.” The majority of people are aware of the dangers of drunk driving and the behavior has become socially taboo. The laws have also become much stricter on preventing impaired driving.   This helps to explain why only around eight percent of drivers on weekend nighttime hours had alcohol in their systems and only around one percent were at or over the legal limit.

Unfortunately, even as the number of drunk drivers has declined, the number of drugged drivers has increased.  In the most recent survey that was conducted in 2014 and released in 2015, almost one driver out of every four tested positive for at least one drug that could affect the ability to safely operate a vehicle.  This is a significant increase from 2007. In 2007, around 16.3 percent of the drivers who participated in the survey had evidence of drugs in their system and now around 20 percent do.  Marijuana, in particular, was much more common and there was nearly a 50 percent increase in the number of drivers with marijuana in their bodies.

Drivers need to know that operating a vehicle on drugs can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. A motorist who is impaired by drugs can be arrested, and can also be found liable in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit if he causes a car crash while driving under the influence.

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

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Each year, the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety release a Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws.  This roadmap gives each state a ranking of either red, yellow or green based on how well the state has done in passing laws to protect motorists. Red means poor performance; yellow means moderately positive performance with room for improvement, and green means that the state has shown “significant advancement” towards implementing recommended highway safety laws. law books

The state of Georgia received a “yellow” ranking this year.  Georgia got credit for having 10 important safety laws out of 15 total recommended regulations.  While the state wasn’t the worst in terms of protecting motorists, its yellow ranking means there is lots of room to improve. Georgia lawmakers should consider passing legislation that addresses deficiencies in safety rules, while drivers need to be aware of what behaviors are considered risky and should do everything they can to avoid those actions.  If a driver does something unsafe, regardless of whether it is against the law or not, an Atlanta car accident lawyer can help those who are hurt in the crash to pursue legal action against that motorist.

How Could Georgia Do Better to Prevent Collisions?

The state of Georgia had 1,179 fatalities over the course of 2013 and has had a total of 14,315 car accident deaths over the past 10 years. The annual economic cost due to motor vehicle collisions in the state reaches $12.485 billion.

Georgia could help to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries that occur in car crashes by implementing recommended laws including:

  • Primary enforcement of rear seatbelt laws: This would allow police to pull over and cite motorists if passengers in the back seats did not have a seatbelt on. There is already a primary enforcement seat belt law allowing police to issue tickets if drivers in the front aren’t belted.
  • Graduated driver’s license laws. Graduated driver’s license rules aim to reduce teen collisions by gradually giving young people more freedom to drive. Georgia does not currently impose a minimum age of 16 for a new driver to get a learner’s permit. The state also does not have adequate restrictions on the number of passengers that can ride in the car with new teen drivers, nor does it have sufficient restrictions on nighttime driving for new teen drivers.
  • Ignition interlock device for all offenders. An ignition interlock requires a driver convicted of drunk driving to blow into a breath test installed in his vehicle before the car will start.

Georgia has already implemented a lot of the recommended safety rules including requiring all motorcyclists to wear helmets, and limiting the use of cell phones and handheld electronic devices for motorists. However, the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety believe that implementing these additional recommendations could make a big difference in helping to bring down the death toll in the state.

Regardless of the laws, however, teens have a responsibility to make sure they drive safely and don’t get into situations that could cause a collision risk, while all motorists should refrain from impaired driving and ensure that every passenger in the car is buckled in.

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

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Speeding is undeniably one of the major causes of motor vehicle collisions within the United States.  Once a car is going above 15 miles per hour, even relatively minor changes in how fast the vehicle is going will make a big impact on whether a crash is fatal or not. For example, if a pedestrian is struck by a car that is going 23 MPH, there is a 10 percent chance the pedestrian will die. If that car is going just 32 MPH, the risk goes up to a 25 percent chance the impact will be fatal. filthy-speed-limit-877270-m

Despite the fact that speed limits have a big impact on how dangerous the roads are, the process for setting speed limits is not very scientific and is not necessarily tailored to achieve optimum safety.  FiveThirtyEight.com explains how speed limits are set… and why the rules aren’t good enough to reduce the number of deadly crashes due to speeding drivers.

Of course, drivers need to be aware that it is ultimately their responsibility to make safe choices, regardless of what the speed limit is. If the road conditions are poor and it is not safe to drive the limit, motorists need to slow down. if they don’t, victims could pursue legal action to obtain compensation if a crash occurs. An Atlanta car accident lawyer can help those who have been harmed to determine if a speeding driver was to blame.

Speed Limit Laws Aren’t Protecting Motorists from Atlanta Crashes

Speed limit laws are not set by using careful calculations. Instead, the majority of speed limits are set in a very surprising way.

The process begins with traffic engineers conducting a study in order to determine the average speed that cars travel when they are moving along a particular road. Based on how fast the cars happen to be going when this study is conducted, the speed limit is set at the 85th percentile. This means that 15 percent of the motorists would be going above this new limit, and 85 percent of motorists would be traveling under it.  The process of setting speed limits this way is called “rational speed limits,” because the rules are set by how fast drivers feel safe traveling on the road.

Those who argue in favor of this method indicate that speed limits will be obeyed only if people think they are reasonable. Setting them too slow would just create more lawbreakers.

However, studies show that faster limits mean more crashes.  For example, between 1974 and 1987, there was a federal National Maximum Speed Limit Law that set the maximum speed on all interstate highways at 55 MPH.  In 1987, the national maximum was raised to 65. However, in 1995, the national speed limit law was repealed entirely and states all raised the speed they allowed drivers to travel. When the speed limits increased, there was a 3.2 percent nationwide increase in collision deaths. Over 10-years, as many as 12,545 fatalities occurred that wouldn’t have if the limits had remained lower.

These devastating fatalities, and many more injuries and deaths, could be prevented if speed limits were set based on safety rather than the speed at which people want to drive.

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

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In January, a driver traveling through suburban Atlanta received a traffic ticket. While moving violations are common and tickets are given out every day, the reason for this citation was surprising enough to the driver that an article about the incident found its way into the New York Times. The reason for the ticket: the driver was eating a cheeseburger while operating his vehicle.  cheeseburger-with-fries-1426236-m

The law enforcement officer who issued the citation told the motorist that he couldn’t “just drive down the road eating a hamburger.”  While the motorist is planning on contesting the ticket because he believes that he does have the right to eat, the fact is that driving while behind the wheel has become a big issue. Eating and driving is a form of distracted driving that is difficult to regulate, but that is undeniably dangerous.

A driver who is focused on his food may not be paying sufficient attention to other cars and people around him. This can significantly increase the risk of a collision. If an eating and driving accident does occur, victims should consult with an Atlanta car accident lawyer for help taking legal action to recover compensation from the motorist who wasn’t paying attention.

Eating and Driving Increases Atlanta Collision Risks

Eating and driving may not get as much attention as cell phones and electronic devices when it comes to trying to address the problem of distracted driving, but studies show that it can be really dangerous to try to consume food behind the wheel.

As the New York Daily News Reports, around 80 percent of all motor vehicle crashes and around 65 percent of “near-miss” collisions involve drivers who are distracted by food rather than paying attention to what is going on around them.

Burgers, like the one the Atlanta driver was consuming when he got his ticket, are one of the worst foods to eat behind the wheel according to a survey of drivers. Other foods that are especially dangerous to consume while driving include:

  • Coffee, even with travel lids on cups
  • Soup
  • Tacos
  • Chili dogs
  • Ribs
  • Wings
  • Fried chicken
  • Jelly doughnuts
  • Soda
  • Chocolate

Despite the high risks that can be associated with eating and driving, this behavior is incredibly common. In fact, when ExxonMobile Corp. surveyed 1,000 drivers about their habits while driving, 83 percent said they drank beverages and 70 percent say that they consume food.

Regulating eating and driving can be a challenge, as drivers who receive citations under state distracted driving laws may contest their tickets like the Atlanta driver is planning to do. It is unclear whether state laws prohibiting reckless driving or distracted driving can be extended to effectively cover people who eat or drink while operating their cars.

Regardless of whether eating and driving is illegal, if a driver who is consuming food isn’t paying attention and causes a crash, victims injured in that collision should be able to recover compensation for losses as long as they can prove the other motorist behaved in an unsafe way. A car accident attorney can provide help making a case.

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

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Worries about drugged drivers are increasingly become a concern for many Americans. Insurance News reports that around half of all Americans responding to a new survey from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety expressed concerns about drugged drivers. Survey respondents throughout that “drug-impaired drivers are a bigger problem today compared to three years ago.” marijuana 1

It is likely that many people worry about this issue in part because they don’t understand how the laws work to prevent drugged drivers from endangering others. Drugged driving is not legal, but it can be much more difficult to regulate than drunk driving is. If a drugged driver gets behind the wheel of the car and causes a crash, an Atlanta car accident lawyer can help victims or surviving family members to pursue legal action. States have also passed laws imposing criminal penalties for drugged driving.

Drugged Drivers Raise Atlanta Car Accident Worries

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety indicated that there are significant discrepancies across state laws that make it harder to address the issue of drugged driving as a safety issue.

In 16 states, the law forbids the presence of any prohibited drugs in the system. In five other states, there are limits set for the amount of marijuana that can be in a person’s system before that individual has broken the law.

Discrepancies from one state to the next have left many people confused about what they are actually allowed to do. Unlike the clear .08 blood alcohol concentration limit that exists nationwide, there are different rules for drug use depending upon where a person happens to be at the time he gets behind the wheel. Because of the widespread discrepancies and the lack of standard guidelines, more than 50 percent of Americans do not know what the laws are for drugged driving in their own state.

In addition to not knowing the law, many drivers also do not understand the actual impacts that drug-use can have. Around two-thirds of respondents to the AAA survey said that drunk drivers pose a “very serious” threat to personal safety. Only slightly more than half of the people answering the same question about drug use said that it too was a very serious threat.

As many as one out of every six Americans reported feeling that it would be safe and acceptable for someone to drive an hour after last using marijuana. Scientific data, on the other hand, does not back this up. A person’s driving performance can be affected for as long as three hours after using cannabis products. The driver who has consumed marijuana may experience a number of side-effects impacting driving abilities including sleepiness, deceased handling of the car’s performance, and driver fatigue.

If drivers don’t know what the law is and don’t know how dangerous driving high can be, they are likely to underestimate the risk and even get behind the wheel. Motorists need to be aware of the dangers of drugged driving and clear laws should be passed prohibiting dangerous drugged driving behaviors.

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

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For young children throughout Atlanta, car accidents are one of the top causes of fatalities. While kids may lose their lives as passengers in vehicles, they are also at special risk of becoming involved in a fatal pedestrian accident. Recently, the Wall Street Journal took a close look at some of the potential reasons why children are one of the demographic groups most likely to die in pedestrian accidents. children

Drivers need to be aware that children on the roads are especially vulnerable to being hurt or even killed in a car accident. Motorists traveling through school zones or residential areas should be on the lookout for young kids. If a driver is not paying attention or is careless in some way that causes him or her to hit a child, an Atlanta car accident lawyer can represent the young victim and his or her family.

Attention Span Issues Put Kids at Risk of Atlanta Crashes

The Wall Street Journal reports that children age 10 and under “may not have the cognitive resources to notice objects that appear out of the blue.” When a child reaches the age of 11, his cognitive resources change and the young person becomes just as capable of adults at perceiving unexpected things. For young children, however, it is common to fail to recognize objects that appear at times when their attention is focused elsewhere.

The inability to see objects outside of your area of focus is called perceptual blindness or termed inattention. Researchers in Germany decided to test the extent of perceptual blindness in younger children.

A total of 480 school children are included in the German study. Children were asked to view several videos including 30-second scenes showing basketball players. The kids were told that they should only watch the players who had white jerseys on and that they should count the number of passes that these particular players made.

In the third video that the children were asked to watch, a man in a gorilla costume appeared on the basketball court for nine seconds. The man came into the scene from the right of the screen, walked across the basketball court, and left the image off the side of the screen.

After viewing the videos, the children were asked if they spotted anything unusual. A total of 43 percent of the kids said that they observed the gorilla on the basketball court. Older children were more likely to notice the gorilla. For example, 15 percent of kids aged eight noticed the gorilla. A total of 31 percent of nine year olds noticed, and 32 percent of 10-year-olds said that they saw the gorilla. For kids between the ages of 11 and 15, a full half said that they saw the gorilla.

The younger kids did not see the gorilla because their brain attention was not suddenly able to shift. The same phenomenon might put these young children at risk if they are walking somewhere and focused on something else when a car suddenly comes up. The fact that kids experience this perceptual blindness could help to explain why as many as 25 percent of all kids killed in traffic accidents are pedestrians at the time of the incident. Drivers need to be on the lookout for these kids and make sure they are not putting them in jeopardy.

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