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.