Texting while driving triples the distraction for drivers

Drivers in Georgia and the rest of the United States face the same roadway risks associated with distracted drivers. Mobile tablet or smart phone use by someone behind the wheel creates a serious distraction that has been linked to car accidents.

Data reviewed by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal facts about the hazards of driver distractions. From 2011 to 2012, the number of people injured in distracted driver accidents increased by 9 percent from 387,000 to 421,000. The year 2012 also saw 3,328 deaths in similar crashes. In 2011, distracted driving caused 17 percent of car accidents in which a person was injured.

The CDC defines sources of distraction in three ways: visual, manual or cognitive. Texting and driving is especially dangerous because the activity causes all three types of distraction. Texting makes the driver take his or her eyes off the road, remove one or both hands from the wheel and think about the text message instead of focusing on the task at hand.

Some people think that using hands-free communication is safer, but evidence does not support this. Additional information published by the U.S. Government states that even hands-free conversations still cause cognitive distraction.

A person injured in a car crash caused by a distracted driver may have grounds for filing a civil case that seeks compensation for personal injury. Distracted driving is known to increase accident risks. Drivers who text or talk on cell phones while driving might be found to be negligent because they were not observing their duty to be careful while driving. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help an injured person assess the details of an accident to investigate if legal action is appropriate.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Distracted Driving", Accessed on Jan. 10, 2015

Source: Distraction.gov, 'Frequently Asked Questions", Accessed on Jan. 10, 2015

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