Distracted driving has reached epidemic levels in Georgia and the rest of the U.S. Every day in this country, according to the National Safety Council, 9 people die and 100 are injured in crashes where one of the drivers was distracted. In the effort to increase awareness of this trend, the NSC has designated every April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

As part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the Risk Institute at The Ohio State University has come out with new research that sheds light on the various factors involved in distracted driving. It is also coordinating a nationwide effort to reduce distracted driving with the help of companies, government entities and researchers in areas like behavioral science and engineering.

In one study, the Risk Institute analyzed driver behavior in the effort to encourage good habits and predict when drivers might engage in bad habits. One conclusion was that more confident drivers are more likely to engage in distracting or other unsafe behavior.

Urbanized areas see more distracted driving-related crashes than rural areas. The crash rate tends to increase with the length of a road and the number of lanes, but roads with medians and shoulders with asphalt pavement experience fewer crashes. Roundabouts were found to mitigate the severity of all crashes but especially distracted driving crashes.

When motor vehicle crashes involve a distracted driver, those on the other side may consult with a lawyer about filing a claim. Georgia allows plaintiffs to recover damages in an accident case even if they were partially to blame although the amount they recover will naturally be lowered based on that degree of fault. With a lawyer, victims may be able to present proof that the defendant was on the phone or distracted in some other way.