Distracted driving is taking a deadly toll on Georgia's highways

Distracted driving is being blamed for an increase in traffic fatalities in Georgia and across the United States.

Georgia traffic fatalities are up significantly this year and, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, distracted driving is primarily to blame. With about 100 people dying each month in car accidents on Georgia's highways, officials say distracted driving has become a public safety hazard on par with drunk driving. Recent surveys also show that with ever more sophisticated smartphones and in-car technologies becoming available, the problem may get worse before it gets better.

Georgia traffic fatalities

As WJAX-TV reports, after nine years of steady declines, 2015 will likely see an increase in traffic fatalities. That increase, furthermore, is not likely to be insignificant. During the first half of this year there were 662 traffic deaths in the state, an increase of 114 from the year before. If that trend continues, then 2015 will likely be the worst year for traffic fatalities in Georgia since 2007.

Close to half of this year's fatal accidents involved just one vehicle, often after the driver of the vehicle veered off the road and struck a fixed object, such as a tree or a bridge. Officials say that the high number of single-vehicle crashes this year is a good indication that many of them were caused by distracted driving. In many of these single-vehicle crashes, the driver was too distracted to realize that he or she was drifting out of his or her lane until it was too late.

Deadly distractions

With smartphones being ubiquitous, it should come as little surprise that distractions are playing such a significant role in fatal car accidents. The National Safety Council also points out that a national rise in traffic fatalities is likely due to drivers being distracted. It is estimated that driver error, which can include texting and fatigue, account for 74 percent of fatal accidents so far this year.

Some recent surveys show just how widespread the problem of distracted driving is. A recent AT&T study, for example, found that 70 of people who use smartphones also engage in distracted driving. Among smartphone users, 40 percent say they engage with social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, while driving. Ten percent of users even admit to using video chat apps on their smartphones when behind the wheel.

Involved in an accident?

Smartphones have made it easier than ever before to stay in touch with friends and loved ones. Unfortunately, their ease-of-use has also made them deadly when used behind the wheel of a car. Distracted driving is quickly becoming one of the greatest dangers on Georgia's roads and highways and this deadly epidemic shows no signs of letting up anytime soon.

Those who have been injured in a crash that may have been the result of a distracted or otherwise careless driver need to contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. With medical bills, lost income, and therapy, the aftermath of an accident can prove expensive and an experienced attorney will be able to help victims understand what legal options they have, including possible financial compensation.