Texting is not the only form of dangerous driver distraction

Many drivers in Georgia are injured or killed in distracted driving-related car accidents every day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents involving a distracted driver kill over nine people and injure more than 1,153 people on a daily basis. Although texting and driving contributes to many of these injuries and fatalities, there are other forms of distraction that also endanger the lives of drivers, passengers and pedestrians.

The definition of distraction

The CDC defines distracted driving as any activity that takes a driver's full attention away from operating a vehicle. There are also three main types of driver distraction, which include:

  • Manual distraction-drivers become manually distracted when they take their hands off of the steering wheel while their vehicle is in motion. For example, a driver who takes his or her hands off of the steering wheel to reach for something on the back seat of the vehicle he or she is driving is manually distracted.
  • Visual distraction-this type of distraction occurs when drivers are no longer looking at the road in front of them. For instance, a driver becomes visually distracted when he or she gets directions from a GPS device instead of keeping his or her eyes on the road.
  • Cognitive distraction-this type of distraction occurs when drivers are no longer completely focused on driving. For example, a driver is cognitively distracted when he or she intently thinks about what needs to be done at the office on his or her commute to work.

Although many distracted driving-related accidents occur on the roadways in Georgia and throughout the country every day, most drivers recognize that becoming distracted, particularly when they text and drive, is hazardous to their safety and the safety of others. In a recent survey released by AT&T, over 90 percent of the frequent drivers who participated reported that they knew texting and driving was dangerous, but approximately three-fourths of the respondents admitted that they still glance at their cellphones when they operate a vehicle.

Distracted driving laws in Georgia

To prevent the number of serious injuries and fatalities that occur as a result of distracted driving, the state of Georgia has enacted several laws related to cellphone use. For example, according to Distraction.gov, drivers of all ages are not allowed to text and drive simultaneously and novice drivers are prohibited from using both handheld and hands-free devices.

However, many drivers in Georgia disobey these laws and cause injurious and fatal auto accidents. If you sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident, speak with an attorney in your area to determine what compensation may be available to you.