Distracted Driving Accidents
When drivers get behind the wheel, they are expected to focus on the road and obey all traffic laws. But when a driver is distracted by children, pets, the radio, or anything else in the car, then accidents and injuries can be the result of the decision to pay attention to those distractions. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by distracted driving, then call The Issa Law Firm to set up your consultation with one of our attorneys.
Signs of Distracted Driving
There are some signs of distracted driving that police officers look for that drivers can also look for to protect themselves behind the wheel. These are also some good tips to share with teenagers and other new drivers.
Looking Down or A Cell Phone Glow
One of the biggest signs that somebody driving next to you is texting or on social media is the glow of their phone in their hand. It’s easy to spot someone taking a quick peek at their device during daytime hours, too. Even looking down to dial a phone number is as dangerous as texting. So, if you see a driver with their head tilted down, try to get away from that vehicle. You may even want to consider getting off the road temporarily.
Someone Eating in the Car
A lot of people do this, and a lot of people grow up watching their family members do it, so there’s a sense that eating and drinking behind the wheel are not terribly dangerous activities. But trying to remove a wrapper or having a hot beverage spill are two very distracting things that could happen when someone is eating behind the wheel. It’s best not to have anything in the car that needs to be opened or requires two hands in order to eat.
If someone is applying makeup then they are focused on making sure their eyeliner line is straight or that their makeup isn’t smudging more than they are paying attention to the road. Nobody wants to not feel confident in how they look, but applying cosmetics must be done when not driving.
Statistics and Related Data
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is a U.S. agency that is part of the Department of Transportation. According to their Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), the Peach State saw a 2.3% drop in traffic deaths from 2018 to 2017. In the state of Georgia in 2017, there were 1,540 traffic deaths compared to 1,504 the following year. This is significant because this was the biggest drop in traffic deaths since 2012. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety credits this drop to the Hands-Free law, which prohibits all drivers operating a motor vehicle on any highway in the state from holding or supporting, with any part of their body, a cell phone, or any other stand-alone electronic device. Drivers can still talk on their devices and use GPS systems if it is on a phone, but the device itself must not touch any part of the driver’s body while they are operating a motor vehicle.
However, the number of pedestrian deaths increased over a three-year period. In 2018, there were 261 pedestrian deaths, an increase from 253 in 2017. The office also reports that there has been a 60% increase of pedestrian deaths in the last five years. Again, they believe that these traffic deaths are due to distracted drivers who are not looking properly and then becoming a danger to people on sidewalks and crosswalks.