Distracted Driving Accidents on the Rise in Georgia
More and more distracted drivers are on the roadways every day. In Georgia, there has been an increase in motor vehicle accidents over the last few years due to distracted driving behaviors like texting and otherwise using a smartphone. Statistics compiled by the National Safety Council suggest that the car accident fatality rates have increased from 2014 to 2016 in Georgia, which makes ours the state with the fifth highest number of distracted driving deaths in the country behind New Hampshire, Vermont, Oregon, and Idaho.
Common Types of Driving Distractions
In addition to using your cell phone, there are a number of common distractions that drivers face:
● Losing mental focus on the road, or daydreaming
● Lighting a cigarette, smoking or vaping
● Playing with the radio
● Adjusting the control panels or air conditioner
● Eating or drinking
● Engaging with passengers
These are three subcategories of distractions one can encounter while driving: Manual Distractions, Visual Distractions, and Cognitive Distractions. Manual distractions occur when a person physically takes his or her hands off the wheel, which means that a person is temporarily unable to control a vehicle. Visual distractions occur when a driver looks away from the road. Even if a driver’s vision is diverted for a quick moment, deadly accidents can occur. Cognitive distractions occur when a person’s mind is taken off of the task of driving, the road ahead, and the surrounding conditions.
Ways to Avoid Distracted Driving Accidents
There are some important safety precautions that drivers can follow to greatly decrease their chances of being involved in a distracted driving accident.
● Turn off your phone while driving. If necessary, place it where it will be out of reach while you are driving. When you get to your destination, you can retrieve your phone and respond as necessary.
● Prepare yourself before operating your vehicle. This way you will not be searching for toll change or trying to punch directions into your GPS while driving. Eat your breakfast before you hit the road, not while behind the wheel. The same goes for getting dressed and applying makeup. Instead, you will better able to focus on the road and the various conditions surrounding your vehicle.
● If there are other people in your vehicle, save the conversations for later and focus on the road, instead. Avoid phone conversations, as well. Engaging in a serious discussion with someone will distract you from operating your vehicle.
● Run a quick mental checklist of your potential visual, manual, and cognitive distractions. Then eliminate them and focus on the road ahead.
Speak with an Experienced Distracted Driving Attorney Today
Distracted driving can be deadly. If you or a loved one is involved in an accident and a distracted driver is responsible, do not hesitate to contact the experienced Georgia Trial Attorneys today for assistance.