Last week we wrote about how the spread of smartphone use and smartphone application use is starting to contribute to the number of distracted driving car accidents. While we all know that distracted driving is a major cause of car crashes in Florida, the true extent of the distracted driving problem is unknown. Accurate distracted driving figures are currently hard to come by and traffic safety officials believe the number of distracted driving accidents is probably underreported.
Even though the collection of accurate information is difficult, distracted driving is on the rise. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, around 5,400 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2009 and among those accidents almost 1,000 were related to cell phone use. In addition, as the number of highway fatalities decrease in the United States the percentage of distracted driving fatalities increases. In 2005, distracted driving accounted for 10 percent of highway fatalities and in 2009 distracted driving accounted for 16 percent.
As distracted driving accidents trend upwards, the available statistics are probably only the tip of the iceberg. Data collection for car accidents begins with police reports, and police reports are entered into large federal databases where private analysts, university analysts and agency analysts use the information to develop policy. Police reports differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and the depth of an investigation may depend on the seriousness of the accident. Therefore there is a range in distracted driving accident information from no record to records that are overly detailed that are hard to standardize for database purposes.
The lack of uniform police reports results in poor information on distracted driving. Guidelines exist to help standardize crash information, but the guidelines are only voluntary, not supported by many car accident lawyers in Melville. Either way, we know distracted driving is dangerous and motorists should use their phones when not behind the wheel.
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This week, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended a ban on all cell phone use while driving, stirring up debates across the nation. Lawmakers here in Georgia were quick to weigh in, noting that Georgia already has a ban on texting while driving and a full ban on cell phone use for anyone under the age of 18.
Some lawmakers said the ban currently in place is sufficient. They added that some businesses need their employees to talk on the phone while driving, and implementing a full ban on their use would hamper business. Even though some lawmakers don’t think the government should act on the NTSB’s recommendation, drivers who’ve been in a car accident where the other driver was using a cell phone see a great need for a ban.
Some officials didn’t directly endorse a ban, but acknowledged cell phones are a distraction. A spokesperson for UPS, which is based in Atlanta, said their business bans all use of cell phones while driving.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, one lawmaker said he just puts his phone on speaker phone and sets it on his dash. What if the phone slid off the dash? The phone could still distract drivers in other ways, which is why the NTSB suggested a ban even on hands-free cell phone use. Portland car accident lawyers are on the rise because of cell phone use and sometimes these accidents have deadly consequences. The NTSB made the recommendation after finding a massive pile up that injured 38 people and killed two others may have been caused by atexting driver.
Motor vehicle accidents in Richmond County and elsewhere can happen in the blink of an eye. Fortunately, the law does allow for victims of car accidents to collect compensation for their personal injuries, but that may prove to be of only small consolation to the friends and family members of one who is injured or killed in an accident.
That is almost certainly true for one Georgia family that received tragic news late last month.
A man who was once the lawyer for James Brown was involved in an accident on Highway 171. According to a local news report, his truck struck the left side of a log-truck, causing his car to crash. The impact of the collision was so severe that he had to be airlifted to an Augusta hospital.
Troopers for the Georgia State Patrol charged the log-truck driver with a failure to yield. That may prove important for the injured man if he chooses to file a civil claim for personal injury against the driver. By filing such a claim, he may be able to collect compensation for his medical expenses as well as for his pain and suffering.
When victims are injured in a car accident through no fault of their own, they deserve compensation for their personal injuries. Like roads and highways anywhere, one cannot always account for the actions of other drivers in Richmond County.
By providing a mechanism to ensure that the at-fault driver is held responsible for a failure to drive with a due regard to the safety of others, victims are ensured that should they be injured in a car accident, they need not suffer financially.