New Study Indicates a Rise in New Forms of Distracted Driving
Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys Discuss New Study Indicating a Rise in New Forms of Distracted Driving: Selfies and Social Media Activity
While distracted driving has always been a significant cause of car accidents that result in serious injury, cell phones have magnified the danger because so many people own mobile phones with an expanding array of "apps." Although the majority of drivers are aware that texting on a cell phone is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving, people continue to discover new risky practices that endanger those with whom they share the roadways. A study conducted by AT&T reveals that cell phone distractions go far beyond texting and driving.
Study Reveals Widespread Use of New Types of Cell Phone Use While Driving
While no text message or telephone call is worth causing an auto accident, drivers are finding even less important reasons to endanger the safety of vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians and others. The AT&T study found the following disturbing results involving the frivolous uses of cell phones while driving:
• 27 percent of drivers between the ages of 16 and 65 use cell phones for Facebook.
• 14 percent of drivers use cell phones for Twitter.
• 30 percent of motorists admitted using their cell phone to tweet "all the time."
• 28 percent of drivers surf the web.
• Over 10 percent of motorists use Snapchat and Instagram.
• 17 percent of survey participants use their cell phone to take selfies.
• Over 10 percent of responding parties engage in video chat with Skype or other apps.
AT&T conducted the study to promote awareness regarding the risk of using portable electronic devices while driving. Despite past public awareness campaigns, more than 62 percent of drivers continue to report that they keep their cell phone within reach when driving. Further, 22 percent of drivers admit using their cell phone for social networking while operating a motor vehicle.
Motorists Attitudes Toward Distracted Driving Differ from Views on Drunk Driving
The vast majority of the public condemns drinking and driving as unacceptable because of the damage that a drunk driver can cause, including catastrophic injuries and even death. However, the rates of new types of cell phone use while driving suggests that people might still have a more tolerant view of distracted driving.
This more accepting attitude is alarming given that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that texting while driving is six times more dangerous than alcohol-impaired driving. Motorists engage in multi-tasking behavior while driving approximately half the time they spend behind the wheel. This failure of motorists to focus all of their attention on their driving leads to many accidents, including 16 percent of fatal accidents annually.
When a distracted driver who is using a cell phone rear-ends a vehicle stopped for traffic, drifts into an adjacent lane, or otherwise causes a collision, the distracted driver can be liable for causing injury to others involved in the collision. Victims of distracted drivers should seek legal advice promptly following a collision because the unsafe driving practice can be difficult to prove. Although texting on a cell phone can be proven by obtaining cell phone records from a phone carrier, some cell phone activity can be much more difficult to establish.
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If you or a loved one suffer injury in a collision caused by a distracted driver, our experienced law firm has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout 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.
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