Some safety advocates now contend that “Distracted Driving” has eclipsed drunk driving as the number one safety concern of the motoring public. Regardless of its rank, “distracted driving” has clearly been shown to be a significant cause of many traffic accidents in which thousands of motorists and pedestrians are killed or injured in Georgia and other states. According to a survey conducted by Nationwide Insurance in 2008, 80% of all drivers admit to having driven their car while distracted by a cell phone, radio, food, conversation or something else inside their vehicle.Cell Phones Distract Drivers and Increase
the Likelihood of a Car or Motorcycle Accident
In the last few years, use of cell phones has clearly become the primary cause of dangerous “distracted driving.” Cell phone ownership has grown rapidly with roughly 250 million people now having cell phone subscriptions in this country. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 5-6% of all passenger vehicles (i.e. cars, pick-up trucks, SUV’s, vans, etc.) on the road at any given time are driven by people using hand-held cell phones. That percentage is doubled if hands free cell phones usage is also included. Another study concluded that each day, about 1 million motorists in the U.S. talk or send text messages on their cell phone while driving. This poses a significant safety problem in view of mounting evidence that use of a cell phone while driving substantially increases the risk of a crash. Indeed, research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed that vehicles driven by motorists using a cell phone are four times more likely to be involved in an accident resulting in a fatality or injury. Unfortunately, these studies suggest that use of a hands-free cell phone did not offer a meaningful safety advantage over use of a hand-held cell phone.Driving While Using a Cell Phone Is as Dangerous as Drunk Driving
There have been more than 100 studies to determine the effects of cell phone usage on driver performance. This collective research consistently shows that talking or texting on a cell phone results in significant cognitive distraction, reduced reaction times, increased lane deviations and other less safe driving patterns. Indeed, there are two studies which concluded that cell phone use was the dangerous equivalent of drunk driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent.Civil Liability in Georgia for Auto Accidents Caused by Cell Phone Use
In light of this evidence, much attention is now justifiably being paid to the issue of distracted driving and cell phone use in assigning blame for a car wreck or motorcycle accident. Many lawsuits in Georgia are now including allegations that the defendant’s use of a cell phone was negligent and caused or at least contributed to the automobile accident giving rise to the plaintiff’s injuries.Atlanta Lawyers Representing Car Accident Victims
Please contact us if you have been involved in a car or motorcycle accident caused by a distracted driver or by a driver’s use of a cell phone. We have considerable experience with handling wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits involving motor vehicle accidents in Georgia and its neighboring states.