Many people spend a great deal of time in their car nowadays and as a result, they tend to treat their vehicle as an extension of their home or office. However, such behavior can be unsafe since it takes attention away from road. When distractions behind the wheel occur, the likelihood of a car accident grows, putting drivers and others at risk.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 3,000 people were killed because of distracted driving in 2011. That same year, Fayette County reported 2,760 crashes; it is unknown how many of those accidents were caused by distracted driving. Whether someone lives in a populated or rural area, distracted driving affects everyone.
When people hear the term, distracted driving, they tend to immediately think about cell phones. While cell phones are one of the largest distractions and are the cause of many distracted driving accidents, there are other distractions that can interfere with a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle successfully. These distractions include:
- Looking at a map
- Putting on makeup or doing one’s hair
- Talking to others in the car
- Using navigation systems/car entertainment equipment
In 2011 the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration joined forces with the U.S. Department of Transportation in asking workers and companies to eliminate sources of distracted driving. The agency points out that when people send texts while driving, a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration shows that their eyes are off the road for about 4.6 seconds-enough time for an accident to happen and for someone to suffer a serious injury.
In Georgia, lawmakers tried to pass a law this year banning the use of cell phones by drivers, according to WMAZ. The representative sponsoring the bill believes that if passed, more people would be likely to put their phone down while driving. This is the third year that the representative has introduced the bill.
In 2010, Georgia passed a law banning the use of cell phones for texting while behind the wheel of a car for adults and teens under the age of 18. Since then, 1,916 adults and 60 teens have been fined for cell phone use while driving.
Unfortunately not all drivers comply with the law. As a result, distracted-driving accidents are still going to occur. Victims of these accidents often deal with serious injuries, preventing them from working and enjoying life. However, they have the opportunity to seek legal compensation for the damages caused by a distracted driver. If you have been the victim of a car accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area for help.