Whether traveling to work, dropping kids off at school or running errands, you probably spend a good portion of your day behind the wheel. You might not realize that all of this driving around increases your risk of being involved in a distracted driving accident.
Distracted driving is a growing problem in Georgia. Cell phones are a significant part of the issue. With so many drivers texting, talking and browsing the web from their smartphones, car accidents are almost inevitable.
Types of distracted driving
You already know that using a cell phone behind the wheel means you cannot fully focus on driving. But there are other forms of distracted driving:
- Wearing headphones
- Using a wireless headset
- Singing along to music
- Speaking with passengers
- Drinking and eating
- Adjusting the radio
Anything that takes a driver's attention off of the road is a distracting behavior.
Drivers cannot stop texting
Researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety compared the results of a 2018 roadside observation with a similar study in 2014. The researchers reported that drivers appear to be physically manipulating their phones far more frequently than in past years. In total, they were 57 percent more likely to do so.
Drivers do appear to be trying to make some improvements, though. Researchers observed fewer people speaking on their handheld phones while driving.
Distracted drivers put you at risk
In 2017, an estimated 800 people died because a driver was using a phone, which increases the risk of death by 66 percent. This is partly because a driver's ability to focus on the road not only changes when he or she is looking at a phone, but it is more difficult for him or her to refocus afterward. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute, a driver's ability to process information fundamentally changes when he or she uses a phone.
Nothing can protect you from a negligent driver. But if you are injured in a distracted driving accident, you can take action. A successfully pursued personal injury claim can address your physical, financial and emotional damages.