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New Study Finds Drivers Are Distracted More Than Half the Time

April 26, 2016

Distracted driving is a problem of epic proportions across the United States. Researchers at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute published a report that shows Americans are distracted more than 50 percent of the time they are behind the wheel. In 70 percent of all crashes studied, the authors detected an observable distraction, such as texting or talking on the phone. This suggests the actual number of distracted drivers is likely even higher because drivers can be distracted by unobservable things, such as simple daydreaming.

Distracted driving claims the lives of thousands of people across the country each year. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we believe distracted driving is a tremendous issue that needs the attention of the entire nation to correct. We sponsor a number of campaigns aimed to stop distracted driving. In honor of Distracted Driving month, we continue our look at the high rate of distracted driving and how we can combat this dangerous practice.

Cell Phones Raise Accident Rates

The primary reason for the increase in distracted driving in recent years is the advent of the smartphone. While distraction has always existed among drivers, the cell phone heightened the temptation for drivers to multi-task. A ringing cell phone, incoming text, or burning question for Google can prove irresistible for many drivers, particularly the younger generation.

In the Virginia Tech study, researchers tracked more than 3,500 drivers who agreed to have cameras attached to their vehicles, along with sensors and radars. Researchers examined driver behavior not only surrounding car accidents, but also during each trip. The study revealed some alarming statistics:

  • Just dialing a phone increased the risk of a crash by 12 times, compared to drivers who were alert and not distracted;
  • Drivers texted at high rates and texting led to hundreds of accidents;
  • Talking on the phone doubled accident rates.

Cell phones were not things that caused drivers to lose their focus. Talking to other passengers increased the risk of an accident, as did driving while upset or emotionally compromised. Drivers were also observed eating, applying makeup, and engaging in other distracting behaviors behind the wheel.

Vow to Put Down Your Cell Phone in Honor of Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is Distracted Driving Awareness month, and we challenge all drivers to take the pledge to put away their cell phones while driving. Texting, calling, and the like is simply not worth the risk to your life and the lives of those around you. Make a positive change today and stow your cell phone while driving.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 38 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case!

Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 38 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located, our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.


Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.