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Distracted driving is a serious threat on American roadways

Georgia residents have good reason to be concerned about distracted driving. According to the National Safety Council, accidents linked to driver inattention kill roughly nine people in the U.S. every day. The economic cost of these crashes also continues to pile up. Distracted driving crashes come with a $40 million bill annually, close to the $44 million annual toll of drunk driving crashes. While smartphones and texting while driving are perhaps the best-known culprits in driver inattention, they are far from the only factors. Drivers can be distracted by built-in touchscreen systems or even other accidents and problems on the side of the road.

There are three major types of distraction that can contribute to motor vehicle collisions. Visual distraction affects a driver's eyes, moving them away from the road ahead. Manual distraction takes a driver's hands off the wheel, leaving them ill-prepared to respond to emergencies or changes. Finally, cognitive distractions divert a driver's thoughts and attention. One reason why texting or surfing the internet while driving is so dangerous is that it involves all three types of distraction, making a car accident more likely.

These behaviors continue to be widespread even though most drivers understand the danger. At least half of drivers admitted to texting or using social media behind the wheel, according to a 2016 study. However, technology could also provide some solutions. Artificial intelligence technologies may allow for the development of sensors to alert drivers to their on distraction and cause them to get back on track. Further developments could even lead cars to stop, pull over or drive ahead if the driver is inattentive.

Distracted driving leads to severe, life-changing car accidents every day. A personal injury attorney could help an injured victim seek compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and other damages.

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