In a recent study from Root Insurance, 47% of the drivers surveyed said distractions were their top concern while behind the wheel. Almost all of them, 99%, considered phones to be among the top three sources of distraction. Yet despite their awareness of the danger of distracted driving, the respondents reported using their phones an average of 13 minutes every day while behind the wheel. Georgia residents should know that Generation Z drivers are especially prone to this distraction.
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.
When Georgia residents lose one hour of rest for daylight saving time, drowsiness could seep in. This fatigue could become a major hazard when they get behind the wheel. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety upholds the opinion that everyone should get seven hours of sleep a night. Furthermore, the foundation claims that those who skip one to two hours of rest in a 24-hour period nearly double their chances for a crash.
Knowing the various causes of auto accidents is important because the cause will determine who should be issued a traffic ticket and who will be liable for injuries sustained by others. Many drivers in Georgia and around the country cause crashes because of simple human error. Driving while distracted, either by using a smartphone or by doing something simple like eating, drinking or talking with a passenger, is one common error. Any kind of multitasking is risky.
Georgia drivers may now be using cellphones in more risky ways compared to previous years. This is according to observational surveys that compared driver habits in 2014 and 2018. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety researchers say that 2018 drivers were 57 percent more likely to be seen using their cellphones to text than in 2014. However, 2014 motorists were more prone to making calls while behind the wheel.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine issued a position statement back in April 2018 that should be of interest to rideshare users in Georgia. According to academy researchers, many rideshare drivers are compelled by low fares and salary incentives to overwork themselves. Moreover, these drivers are independent contractors who are never screened for conditions like obstructive sleep apnea.
Unintentional injury is a leading cause of death for Georgians between the ages of 1 and 44. In 2016, 61,749 people died in the U.S. as a result of unintentional injury. This makes it nearly twice as deadly for that age group as cancer and heart disease combined.
U.S. road safety laws are designed to protect Georgia residents and other Americans from traffic-related injuries and deaths. For example, laws on impaired driving and seat belt use have been proven to save lives. Unfortunately, not all countries have such laws, and their citizens are dying as a result.
While the total number of deaths from auto accidents dropped in Georgia and across the country between 2016 and 2017, fatalities increased for crashes involving large trucks. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 37,133 people were killed in car crashes in 2017, a reduction from the 2016 death toll of 37,806. However, crashes involving large trucks or tractor-trailers, specifically those weighing more than 10,000 pounds, took the lives of 4,761 people in 2017. This was a rise of 392 deaths from the previous year.