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New Study Suggests That Some Driver Distractions May Prevent Auto Accidents

July 18, 2011

There is a substantial amount of evidence that distracted driving causes many Atlanta auto accidents resulting in catastrophic injury and wrongful death. Driver distractions come in many forms including talking on cell phones, eating and drinking while driving, reading, texting and a myriad of other driving distractions.

It is estimated that approximately 5,500 people are killed and another 450,000 are injured annually in car accidents involving distracted drivers according to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Both federal and state lawmakers have taken aggressive steps to reduce distracted driving including laws in some states that limit cell phone use to hands-free calls and bans on texting while driving.

An interesting new study suggests that the impact of distractions on driving ability may require a more nuanced approach and additional research to clearly understand the relationship between driver attention and auto accident rates. A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Kansas suggests that despite many studies indicating that drivers who talk on the phone fail to pay adequate attention and increase the likelihood of a car accident, the monotony of driving may also pose a substantial risk of causing Atlanta car crashes.

The researchers found that drivers who are prone to boredom may actually improve their attention level and concentration when driving by engaging in secondary tasks, especially toward the end of a long car trip. The study involved 45 participants who drove in a simulator for thirty minutes while engaged in a conversation on a cell phone. The researchers introduced obstacles including a car cutting off the drivers’ vehicle. Some drivers remained on the cell phone the entire time, some at the end of the trip and others did not engage in any secondary task while driving in the simulator.

The test subjects were evaluated based on a number of factors including their ability to maintain their lane, response time in avoiding collisions, consistency of course in avoiding radical steering maneuvers and accuracy of memory in recalling signs passed. The conclusions of the study revealed that drivers that engaged in a secondary task in the latter portion of the trip performed better in terms of maintaining their lane and avoiding traffic violations than those who were not engaged in a secondary test. The results of the study strongly suggest that monotony can set in especially during longer drives diverting a driver’s attention from concentrating on their driving task.

While this new evidence certainly should not be taken as justification for distracted driving practices like sending text messages while driving, it does suggest that the human factors that cause serious Georgia car accidents are complex. Although secondary tasks can distract a driver and cause an auto accident, sometimes stimulation in the form of a secondary task is necessary to keep a driver from letting his or her mind wander. In simple terms, this is the same phenomenon that most drivers have experienced by listening to the radio or rolling down the window to keep one focused and alert.

At Montlick and Associates, our Georgia distracted driving attorneys have been successfully representing those who suffer catastrophic injuries or wrongful death and their loved ones throughout Georgia for over 39 years. Our Georgia distracted driver lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, 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:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.