Summer is road trip season for Atlanta drivers. CBS reports an estimated 38 percent of travelers taking a road trip bring their pets with them on the vacation. While it may be fun to take your furry friends with you, however, your pets can present a signifiant risk behind the wheel. The problem is, drivers tend to become distracted by pets in the car. This distraction can be just as dangerous as using a smart phone or electronic devices. anniegirl

A driver who is paying attention to a pet and not the road can become responsible for any resulting motor vehicle accident that occurs due to his negligence. An Atlanta distracted driving accident lawyer can provide legal assistance to victims injured by a motorist who has a pet with him and who is focused on the animal instead of on road safety.

The Risks of Pets in Atlanta Distracted Driving Accidents

A recent AAA survey found 13 percent of pet owners admit they are distracted by their pets when in a car. Of drivers who take their pets with them, 42 percent said they pet their animals while driving. This is the most common distraction for pet owners. Twelve percent of drivers indicate they have taken a picture of their pet at the same time as they were driving the car and 17 percent of people with pets in the vehicle with them said they have given their animals water or food at the same time as they were driving.

Another survey reported on by Daily Light found an even higher percentage of drivers admitting their pets are a problem when it comes to paying attention in the road. In this survey, 29 percent of respondents said they were distracted by their pet. Drivers reported doing things like putting their dogs in their laps, giving them treats, and petting them.

Taking a pet along on a road trip is not just dangerous for other motorists who may be put at risk by a distracted driver. The pet and the people in the car with it can also be at significant risk. Although almost 40 percent of pet owners bring their animals along on road trips, more than 37 percent said they have never restrained a pet in the car.

A dog that weighs just 10 pounds who is unrestrained in the car will emit 300 pounds of force if the animal flies through the air in a crash. An 80-pound dog can exert up to 2,400 pounds of force if unrestrained. Dogs and cats can become badly hurt if involved in an accident, and can cause serious injury to others in the car.

Pet owners need to ensure they are making the responsible choice. If you bring a dog, cat, or other animal with you, make sure your pet is properly restrained and not a distraction. Everyone, including your animal companion and other motorists on the road, will be a lot safer with these simple precautions.

The Atlanta distracted driving 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. 

Truck accidents frequently occur as a result of drivers who are too tired, who are impaired, or who break the rules of the road. Poorly maintained trucks can also be a leading cause of accidents. Truck drivers and motor carrier companies may be held responsible and an Atlanta truck accident lawyer at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can provide legal representation to victims of collisions who have sustained harm. money dollars

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) knows the common causes of truck crashes and has passed myriad regulations designed to discourage dangerous behaviors and encourage best practices for safety. FMCSA rules, for example, require truckers to keep logs to ensure they do not drive for too long and require drivers to check vehicle parts and load balance before setting off on a trip.

When trucking companies or truck drivers violate FMCSA safety rules, accident risks significantly increase. To try to reduce the number of violations that occur, FMCSA has now made changes to the fines that will be imposed when truckers and trucking companies do not follow the rules.

FMCSA Changes Fines to Help Prevent Atlanta Truck Crashes

The FMCSA has made substantial changes to impose stricter penalties and fines. The new higher penalties went into effect on June 2 according to Trucking Info.

Changes affect penalties for record keeping violations; falsification of records; failure to record violations on the part of the motor carrier; and violating out-of-service orders. The fine for egregious hours-of-service violations also rose from a prior maximum of $11,000 to a new maximum fine of $16,000. Big increases also occurred in fines imposed for hazardous material violations. For example, violating federal rules while carrying HAZMAT materials used to carry a maximum fine of $50,000 and now carries a maximum fine of $75,000.

These and other fines and penalties are levied whenever violations are identified. This commonly occurs when high risk motor carries are audited through the Compliance, Safety, Accountability Enforcement Program. After the FMCSA conducts an audit, identifies violations, and issues fines, the agency’s actions become a matter of public record. This can have an adverse impact on the brand of the motor carrier and it can cause insurance rates to rise. Qualified commercial drivers may not want to work for a company with a poor safety culture, so the company may face difficulties attracting safe drivers in the future.

Data on FMCSA fines is also available when the trucking company is sued, which can make it more likely a motor carrier will become liable for losses.

Trucking companies need to be aware of added fines and penalties and the new FMCSA rules should encourage companies to make safety a priority. Hopefully, the higher fines will be good inventive to get trucking companies to do the right thing and protect the public.

The Atlanta truck 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. 

In 2011, 277 people died in drunk driving accidents in Georgia. The Georgia Governors’ Office of Highway Safety reports 23 percent of deadly car crashes in the state occurred because of impaired driving.  Nationwide, drunk driving causes as many as 10,000 deaths each year. refreshing-beer-1267279-m

When a driver makes the dangerous choice to be impaired behind the wheel, an Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyer at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C.  can provide legal assistance to the victims injured or killed by the impaired motorist.  Even when victims are compensated for losses, unfortunately nothing can undo damage done when injuries are permanent or when death results from drunk driving. Prevention is always the goal and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced new technologies that could one day perhaps make drunk driving a thing of the past.

Can Technology End Atlanta Drunk Driving Accidents?

NHTSA has been working in conjunction with the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) since 2008 to develop Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS).    The goal is to develop a technology to incorporate into motor vehicles that does not inconvenience drivers in any way, but which is effective at measuring a driver’s blood alcohol concentration. Drivers do not want their rights infringed on and do not want to be forced to actively take a breath or other BAC tests every time they get into a car if they have no history of impaired driving.  However, if a technology could be incorporated to prevent a car from allowing a driver to operate while impaired, the technology could save as many as 7,000 lives annually.

The hope is such a technology will be available within five years. NHTSA has announced significant progress with DADSS.  Just recently, two new technologies were incorporated into a test vehicle so researchers can observe how drivers interact with the technologies and whether they work well.

The technologies both prevent a car from moving when a driver’s blood alcohol concentration is detected to be .08 or higher, which is the legal limit nationwide. One infrared technology works by touch, with the infrared reading the blood alcohol content below the surface of the driver’s skin. The other technology is breath-based but, unlike most breath tests, the driver does not have to do anything different other than normal breathing. When the driver exhales, the test is able to detect his blood alcohol concentration through the breath.

If the technologies can get an accurate reading and can be used without causing hassle to a motorist, it is possible they will be effective in the fight against drunk driving. Initially, breath test technology is expected to be offered as an optional add-on safety feature in vehicles. One target market may be parents who want to make sure their children are never able to drive drunk. The success of the technology could lead to its adoption as a mandatory feature on vehicles so drivers will effectively be prevented from impaired driving.

The use of technology to prevent drunk driving is a long way away as a standard feature, and there remains a very real risk until such time. Motorists who make the irresponsible choice to operate a vehicle after drinking alcohol should be held accountable by the victims of their negligence and wrongdoing.

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. 

Sudden acceleration can cause dangerous collisions. Sudden acceleration is described by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as “unintended, unexpected, high-powered acceleration, accompanied by an apparent loss of braking effectiveness that typically occurs from a very low initial speed when the driver is attempting to stop the vehicle.” dashboard-1151759-m

Over the past 40 years, NHTSA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have received numerous reports of sudden acceleration and have launched myriad investigations.  No vehicle defect has been identified during this time to explain the sudden failures of both the braking system and throttle.  Instead, pedal application data from vehicle event data recorders over the past five years suggests accidents in which sudden acceleration has occurred likely happened because a driver accidentally hit the gas instead of the brakes. These investigations have led NHTSA and NTSB to conclude reports of sudden acceleration were all likely caused not by a vehicle problem but by pedal error.

A driver who accidentally hits the gas instead of the brake can cause a dangerous high-speed collision. Innocent victims should consult with an Atlanta car accident lawyer at Sammons & Carpenter for assistance in pursuing a case for damages when pedal error has occurred.

Reducing the Risk of a Collision Resulting from Pedal Error

Pedal error occurs any time the driver accidentally steps on the accelerator instead of on the brake. It may also occur if the brake is hit instead of the accelerator or if the driver steps on both the brake and accelerator at the same time.  When this occurs, the vehicle may accelerate suddenly and rapidly with no brake force slowing the car down.

Pedal error often happens when a motorist is trying to park a vehicle, at intersections and highway exit ramps where braking is routinely required, and in situations when a driver is traveling at a low speed. Motorists who make a pedal error usually recognize what they have done but cannot correct the error in time to prevent a collision.

Each year, pedal error causes an estimated 16,000 preventable motor vehicle accidents. Motorists and pedestrians sustain serious injury from these accidents and property is routinely damaged.  Drivers responsible for the mistake may be required to compensate victims for resulting losses if the victims can prove the driver was unreasonably careless or negligent in stepping on the gas instead of the brake.

The NHTSA has tips and advice for preventing crashes caused by pedal error. NHTSA advises motorists to:

  • Become familiar with any vehicle they do not normally drive before they operate it.  This includes adjusting mirrors, seats, steering wheels, and adjustable pedals.  Motorists should take the time to become familiar with how the brake pedal and accelerator feel before starting to operate the car.
  • Aim for the center of the brake pedal each time you hit the brakes. This can reduce the chance of pedal error and reinforce muscle memory.
  • Wear correct shoes when operating a vehicle.  Heavy boots, high heels, and flip flops all contribute to an added risk of a pedal error crash.

These are just a few keys tips to follow to avoid causing a crash that could lead to serious injury, death, and liability for losses.

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. 

Over a five year period in the United States, 556 pedestrians and bicyclists were killed in side swipe truck accidents. Left and right hook truck collisions occur when a truck is turning and hits a pedestrian or bike rider who is going straight or who is walking across the road. These accidents can be especially deadly for the bike rider or the pedestrian because the walker or bicyclist is likely to be forced underneath the large wheels of the commercial truck. tow-truck-1192535-m

Side guards could prevent these tragedies and keep pedestrians and bicycle riders from going underneath a truck that hits them; however, there is no federal law mandating the use of side guards and there are few state laws imposing a requirement side guards be used.  Trucking companies that want to reduce the chances of deadly accidents (and thus reduce potential liability) may wish to consider voluntarily installing side guards in order to keep pedestrians and bike riders safer.

If you or someone you love was hurt or killed in a truck accident in Atlanta, you need to contact a truck accident attorney with experience and compassion.  Your attorney can advise you of options for pursuing a claim for compensation and can assist in fighting for full and fair payment for all losses.

Side Guards Could Reduce Atlanta Truck Accident Deaths

Next City reports side guards have been required in the United Kingdom and in the European since 1986 and 1989, respectively. Following the mandated use of side guards for large commercial trucks in the UK, there was a 20 percent reduction in the pedestrian death rate and a 61 percent reduction in the bicyclist death rate when walkers or bikers were involved in truck crashes.

Although the safety benefits of side guards are not in dispute, they are not commonly used in the United States. A few cities, including Washington D.C. Portland, and Boston, have moved towards requiring side guards on commercial trucks with a weight of 10,000 pounds or greater that do business with the city or are owned by the city. New York also has a pilot program in place where side guards are installed on 240 trucks and are likely to be installed on as many as 10,000 trucks owned or contracted with the city. The University of Washington is also requiring its campus fleet to be equipped with side guards.

Outside of these limited exceptions, most trucks do not have side guards and most cities and states do not require them. The National Transportation Safety Board is hoping to change that, by asking the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to impose a requirement mandating side guard use on large commercial vehicles. The NHTSA, however, has declined to take action and impose a mandate.

Side guards cost an estimated $1,500 to install on a vehicle, but the savings they can provide cannot be measured. Side guards can prevent lives from being lost and can help trucking companies to avoid accountability for deaths if sideswipe accidents occur. Trucking companies may wish to install side guards voluntarily to reduce the chances one of their drivers will kill a bicycle rider or pedestrian while performing work tasks.

The Atlanta truck 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. 

Atlanta drivers, like most drivers throughout the United States, respond to road and environmental conditions when deciding how fast to go. Although speed limits serve as a guide (and are legally enforced), drivers will typically go slower than the posted limit during poor conditions and will exceed the speed limit and drive at a speed that feels safe when road conditions are more optimal. An Atlanta car accident lawyer knows that if a driver is operating his vehicle in an unsafe way and going too fast for the road he is on, those who are harmed as a result can pursue a claim for compensation. welsh-country-lane-1444598-m

One of the factors that impacts how fast a driver will go is how wide the roads are. Road widths need to be designed with a variety of different safety criteria in mind, but some recent evidence from Streets Blog suggests roads are being designed to be too wide based on faulty and outdated research.  These wide streets lead to excess speeds that increase collision risk and put all motorists, especially pedestrians, in danger.

Wide Streets Endanger Atlanta Motorists and Increase Collision Risks

Streets blog reported on a recent studying showing the appropriate width of a two-lane street is between 10 and 10.5 feet. Accidents are more likely to occur, and more likely to be serious, once a road becomes much wider.  When comparing Toronto with Tokyo, roads in Tokyo are much narrower than those in Toronto. On Toronto’s wider roads, average speed at the time of impact in a motor vehicle crash is 34 percent higher.  Drivers change their behavior on wide roads and go faster because they feel they can see better and have more room to maneuver.

Despite the fact that wider roads are riskier, many roads in the United States are 12 feet wide. The reason wider roads are common is because of the adoption of Forgiving Highways policies in the 1960’s. Project for Public Spaces explains the background behind Forgiving Highways policies, which were adopted as a safety measure to try to bring collision risks down.

The theory is a wider highway is more “forgiving” of inevitable mistakes and human errors people make while driving. When a highway is wider and more forgiving, there is more space for a motorist to come to a complete stop if he goes off the road and there is more area for the driver to be if he veers off the road path.  The result is supposed to be a reduction in collisions, but evidence does not support this since people drive differently on the wider roads.

With new questions being raised about whether Forgiving Highways is best, municipalities need to carefully consider whether to continue embracing wider roads.

Regardless of what road design decisions are made, drivers need to ensure they are not letting misconceptions about their feelings of safety impact their driving. Even if a motorist thinks he can go faster on a given stretch of road, he should still obey the speed limit. Not only will following the rules help to avoid accidents and a ticket, but it can also be a form of protection from liability. A driver who is speeding may be presumed to have caused a collision and may thus be held accountable for causing a crash by violating a speed limit safety rule.

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

The prevention of pedestrian collisions has become a top priority as data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration continually shows an increase in the number of walkers killed in accidents. Even as other types of crash deaths decline, pedestrians are dying in ever-larger numbers with increases in the death toll almost every year. NHTSA data from 2012, for example, showed a six percent increase in pedestrian fatalities from the prior year and there were more pedestrians killed over the course of that year than in the five years before. walking-away-1418812-m

There are many factors explaining why pedestrians are becoming more likely to die in accidents even as drivers are less likely to be killed. One issue is that infrastructure is still generally designed to accommodate vehicles rather than to prioritize pedestrian safety.  Driver negligence is also another big factor leading to pedestrian deaths, especially when drivers operate their vehicles in a manner unsafe for the conditions of the road.

After a collision, an Atlanta pedestrian accident lawyer can provide assistance to victims in determining if road design was the crash cause or if driver carelessness was to blame. Determining who was responsible is essential for recovery of compensation for collision losses.

What Road Features Make Pedestrian Crashes in Atlanta Less Likely?

While efforts are made to improve road safety for pedestrians, it is not always clear exactly what makes a road safe for someone to walk on. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) provided a road safety assessment checklist in a recent presentation about improving conditions for pedestrians.

Some of the key factors that determine whether a road is a safe place for pedestrians to be include the following:

  • The presence or absence of sidewalks. When no sidewalks are present, a road shoulder that is wide enough for people to walk on can also provide a safe walking space.
  • The condition of sidewalks.  Sidewalks need to be maintained adequately and shouldn’t have debris or other temporary or permanent obstacles that prevent safe passage.
  • The design of sidewalks. Sidewalks about be designed to ensure they are not too steep for people to walk on. There should be clear signs pointing to pedestrian crossing areas and to access ways.
  • The continuity of sidewalks. Sidewalks should be continuous without large gaps. There should be minimal driveways that people could come out of to hit pedestrians on the sidewalks.
  • The accessibility of sidewalks. Sidewalks should be accessible from mass transit areas and should be accessible to residential areas. There should be steps taken to ensure those with visual impairments can identify where sidewalks begin and end. If there are stairs, ramps should be available to allow for the passage of people with handicaps.
  • The visibility of sidewalks. Sidewalks should be clearly visible and there shouldn’t be obstacles that make it harder for drivers to see people walking on the sidewalks.  There should be plenty of light on the sidewalks, including street lights, both so pedestrians can see and so drivers can see them.
  • The size of sidewalks. Sidewalks should be big enough to accommodate all pedestrians, even during peak times.

Far too many streets fail in many of the key criteria.  Steps need to be taken to design infrastructure with pedestrian interests in mind if crash prevention efforts are to be effective.

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

As smart phones have developed more capacity to keep people connected at all times, distracted driving has become an increasingly serious problem. Recently, Vox.com published a comprehensive report on all of the different things motorists are doing instead of paying careful attention and keeping their hands on the wheel while driving. The report is troubling and shows clearly why distracted driving is rapidly becoming one of the single leading cause of car accidents on U.S. roads. 

If you or someone you love is injured or dies in a car crash due to a driver’s distraction, you need to take legal action and fight for your rights to be fully compensated for harm. Texting and driving is illegal and the dangers of distracted driving have been well-publicized, so there is no excuse for people engaging in high-risk behaviors that can result in someone else’s life being taken.

These Distractions Increase Risk of Atlanta Car Accidents

Vox reported on a survey done recently showing how severe of a problem distracted driving really has become. The survey was conducted by AT&T of 2,067 adult drivers between the ages of 18 and 65. The adults surveyed owned a smartphone and responded to the telephone survey asking about the types of things they do while they are operating a motor vehicle. According to their responses:

  • 61 percent of motorists text while driving.
  • 33 percent of motorists send and receive emails.
  • 28 percent browse on the Internet.
  • 27 percent utilize Facebook.
  • 17 percent take pictures using a telephone camera.
  • 14 percent use the social network Twitter, with 30 percent of the drivers admitting to Twitter use indicating that they sign on and use the site “all the time” while behind the wheel.
  • 14 percent use Instagram.
  • 11 percent say they utilize Snapchat.
  • 10 percent participate in video chatting

Drivers who do all of these different things are not focused on operating their vehicle safely. Because their attention and their eyes are on their phones, they may not see obstacles like cars or people in front of them.  They will have a delayed reaction time as a result, and are likely to be unable to stop their cars before hitting someone.  Their brain energy is also focused on the phone and people are not good at multi-tasking. Drivers who are distracted have impaired judgment and suffer from cognitive blindness. They cannot see and react to things quickly.

Motorists are aware of the fact that they are engaging in a high risk behavior when they do any of these distracting things as they drive.  Just 27 percent of the people responding to the survey who said they video chat while driving said they believed they could do this safely.

Despite knowing the risks, and despite laws prohibiting these behaviors, people can’t seem to stop.  A total of 22 percent of people who used social media while driving said they do so because they are “addicted.”

Addiction to social media is no more an excuse for distracted driving than addiction to alcohol is an excuse for drunk driving.  Every motorist needs to stay focused on what is important while operating a vehicle, and people who go online or use their phones while driving should be held accountable for damage they cause.

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. 

Driving under the influence of drugs causes around 18 percent of motor vehicle deaths in the United States. Driving under the influence of alcohol is also extremely dangerous, with Mothers Against Drunk Driving indicating that thee are more than 10,000 fatalities each year as a result of impaired motorists. cannabis-817594-m

An Atlanta drunk driving accident lawyer should be consulted in situations when a driver is impaired by alcohol, cannabis (marijuana), or other prescription and non-prescription medications. Motorists who make the unsafe choice to operate a vehicle while impaired should be responsible for paying for all losses and damages incurred by innocent victims who are harmed as a result of the illegal and unsafe acts.

Now, recent evidence suggests that drivers who use cannabis and alcohol may have a greater chance of getting behind the wheel when impaired as compared with people who do not use both of these substances. Since marijuana use is becoming much more widely accepted throughout the United States as laws are relaxed and public opinion shifts, this new evidence is bad news when it comes to accident prevention.

Could Marijuana Use Make an Atlanta Motorist More Likely to Drive Drunk?

According to Health Day, a person who has consumed marijuana and alcohol at the same time is twice as likely to drive his vehicle while he is drunk as compared with a person who has used alcohol only and not also used marijuana.

Researchers believe that the majority of people who use both marijuana and alcohol tend to use both substances together. A large-scale study of drug and alcohol habits was conducted, which reviewed data from more than 9,000 different survey respondents. The data was collected between 2005 and 2010, which was before public attitudes and public policy started to shift towards finding cannabis use more socially acceptable.

The results of the survey showed that 89 percent of people used alcohol but did not use cannabis.  A total of 11 percent of people who responded to surveys used both pot and alcohol.  The survey respondents who used both substances generally tended to use them together. Only four percent of people used alcohol and cannabis primarily at different times.  A total of around 7.5 percent of people said that they used the alcohol and cannabis products together.

Alcohol and cannabis can be dangerous independently. Using alcohol before getting in the car can double the risk of a motor vehicle accident. The exact specifics of how marijuana use affects the risk of an accident are not yet known. However, research into the effects of cannabis on driving abilities has shown that drivers are at greater risk of a crash due to impaired judgment and delayed reaction time.

When the two substances are combined together in the body, motorists may be even more affected and less able to make safe choices to avert accidents and keep the roads safe. This means it is very bad news that people who use alcohol and cannabis together are more likely to drive impaired compared with people who use the substances independently or who only drink.

Motorists need to be aware of the added risks of alcohol and cannabis consumption. Drivers who choose to make the dangerous decision to drive drunk and high need to be held accountable for their actions.

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. 

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.