Articles Tagged with distracted driving

No one who has ever driven a car is a stranger to distracted driving. Pretty much every single driver out there has driven while distracted at some point. Making adjustments to you climate controls, fiddling with your sound system, even eating some fast-food take-out – it is all distracted driving. Because everyone does it, and almost everyone does so without any serious consequences, many people tend to downplay the risks associated with distracted driving. Just because you have not been harmed by distracted driving, though, just means it has not happened yet. You have probably never been hit by lightning, either, but deaths and injuries from distracted driving are far more common than being hit by lightning. If you are on the road, you are at risk.

Distracted Driving is Deadly

More than 2,800 people died in the United States in 2018 in traffic accidents involving distracted drivers, and that number only reflects the number that we know about. Countless other accidents may have been caused by distracted driving but not reported as such. Another 400,000 people were injured in such accidents. Roughly 20% of those deaths were among people who were not even in a vehicle on the road – they were pedestrians, bicycle riders, or just close enough to a roadway to be killed in a traffic accident.

“Keep your eyes on the road,” is something every parent tells their teenager when teaching them how to drive. But paying attention to the road has become increasingly difficult in recent years with the advent of smartphone technology that makes it easy for people to text or chat with their friends while driving. “Distracted driving” is now considered a public safety problem on par with drunk driving.

More Than 3,000 Distracted Driving Deaths Every Year

The dangers of distracted driving are quite real. According to a recent New York Times article, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 272 teenagers were killed throughout the country in 2015 in “distraction-affected” car accidents. Overall, 3,263 out of 3,477 crash-related deaths in 2015–94%–involved distracted driving.

Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents. This is why “texting while driving” is illegal in Georgia and many other states. State law expressly forbids anyone from operating a motor vehicle “while using a wireless telecommunications device to write, send, or read any text based communication, including but not limited to a text message, instant message, e-mail, or Internet data.”

Maynard v. McGee and Snapchat, Inc.

When distracted driving does lead to a car accident, the driver may face a personal injury lawsuit from the victims. A lawsuit recently filed in Spalding County, Georgia, raises the novel question of whether a social media company may also be liable for encouraging distracted driving by its users. The lawsuit, which is still in its early stages, has already sparked international media attention.

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