Distracted driving is one of the leading reasons why the number of serious car accidents continues to rise despite numerous safety improvements being implemented in motor vehicles. For many drivers, it remains difficult to stay off their smartphones even while behind the wheel.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published in its Traffic Safety Facts sheet that 35,092 people killed in crashes on American roadways in a single recent year. That marked a 7.2 percent increase from the 32,744 fatalities the year before. This was also the largest percentage increase in nearly 50 years. In October 2017, NHTSA reported that the fatality total rose once again, to 37,461.
The increase in traffic deaths and injuries has prompted some states to toughen laws regarding distracted driving.
Georgia House Bill 673 (HB 673), or the “Hands-Free Georgia Act,” took effect July 1 and requires drivers to use hands-free technology when using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving. This is meant to reduce the risk of distracted driving and, with it, the rates of fatal accidents.
Types of Distractions Caused by Smartphones
While early cell phones were only capable of making calls to other people, technological advances quickly incorporated a broader range of functions. Now, there are numerous distractions that are possible for drivers with smartphones, including:
- Text messaging
- Internet browsing
- GPS navigation
- Streaming music
- Streaming videos
- Social media
- Other applications
It is important to understand that most smartphone use is recorded, which can be extremely beneficial when distracted driving is a suspected cause of a motor vehicle accident. An attorney may be able to subpoena a driver’s phone records and use records of smartphone use to prove the person was distracted at the time of the accident.
Smartphone Car Accident Statistics
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that new data from the National Safety Council showed texting while driving “and other bad behaviors” caused motor vehicle deaths in Georgia to increase by a third from 2014 to 2016. According to the article, this was the fifth-highest increase in the country and more than double the national average of 14 percent during the same period.
If A Distracted Driver Injures You
If you suffer serious injuries in a crash caused by a person who was distracted by their cell phone, do not assume that the negligent driver’s insurance company will be quick to admit liability. Some motorists may even deny they were using their smartphones.
The Georgia distracted driving attorneys of Champion Firm, P.C., can immediately conduct a thorough independent investigation of the crash and work to secure all of the necessary evidence that proves a negligent driver was preoccupied with their smartphone at the time of the accident.
You can have our lawyers review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call us or contact us online to set up a free consultation.