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How Much of a Distracted Driver are You?

Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

If you own and operate an automobile, chances are you are well aware of the optimal importance safety plays when behind the wheel of a car. In a perfect world, assuming every licensed driver operated their vehicle with the utmost, attentive focus, auto accidents would be a rarity. Unfortunately, however, this is not the case with not only seasoned drivers but with newly licensed teens as well. Texting while driving has now become a greater hazard than driving under the influence in the U.S., accounting for 1.3 million (23%) accidents in 2013 alone and climbing. Driving while drunk or impaired was the cause of 20% of auto accidents nationwide that same year. What these numbers indicate is this – we can almost expect for a large portion of the drivers we share roads with to be dangerously negligent, distracted or outright reckless! So the question begs – how much of a distracted driver are you? Take a loot at what been documents as the most common distractions while driving. AA010768

Mobile phones – We use our mobile phones for everything: calls, messaging, email, Internet, games, and even as a GPS. Mobile phone use while driving has become such a problem that there are now strict laws in place to control their use.

Food and drink – It can be hard to resist pinching a few fries after going through a drive-through restaurant, but some drivers will attempt to eat an entire meal with one hand on the wheel. Messy and not the best for digestion, it’s also a distraction on the road and can make the eater/driver reckless – research suggests that eating a cheeseburger while driving can be more hazardous than talking on a mobile phone while driving.

If you must bring a hot drink into the car, it’s worth looking into a no-spill travel mug that you can store in a secure cup holder. Even better, get one that keeps your drink hot so that it will be at optimal drinking temperature once you’ve arrived.

Pets in the car – Few pets stay still in a moving vehicle, and it can be very distracting for anyone in the front seat. Getting your pet as comfortable as possible and having appropriate restraints within the car can prevent your furry friend from distracting you. There are laws in place about travelling in cars with pets, so make sure that you’re familiar with these before driving off.

Kids in the car – Squabbling or bored children can be equally distracting. It doesn’t matter how short or long the drive, it’s essential to keep your kids entertained so that you can focus on the road. Our advice? Keep favourite books, magazines, and toys in the car and within easy reach, so that you can dissolve any boredom or potential fights in quick time.

The sun on the horizon – Driving into the sun at dawn or dusk can be particularly distracting if it forces you to squint. Sunglasses are a must, and pulling down the sun visor may help. If the sun is right in your line of vision, try adjusting your sitting position so that your eyes are shaded; if it’s unbearable, pull over and wait the 10 minutes for the sun to rise or set – it’s safer and a much nicer way to appreciate the beginning or end of the day.

Tuning in – can cause you to tune out. Flicking between radio stations, changing CDs or selecting a song on your music player can steal your concentration away from the road and causes you to be a hazard to yourself and other road users.

A hottie –Well, helloooo! In a survey taken by Allianz last year, 51% of male drivers admitted to getting distracted by an attractive pedestrian when driving. And it’s not just the men with wandering eyes – 15% of women admitted to taking in the scenery!

A surprise – Car accidents can happen when something surprises you while driving. A spider in the car, a bee sting, or a passenger sneezing, can give you a fright and cause you to panic and slam your foot on the brake or to swerve. Keep your cool and pull over somewhere safely; and then you can sort out whatever has distracted you and take your time to calm down before rejoining the traffic.

Vanity – Hey there, good looking! Primping or grooming in the rear-view mirror is a surprisingly common distraction for drivers. Applying make-up, fixing hair, adjusting your clothes or simply appreciating your reflection can divert your attention away from what’s happening around your car.

If you or a loved one has recently been involved or injured in an accident with a distracted driver,  you’re entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, auto repairs, and punitive damages. Here at The Law Office of Neil Flit, our team of law professionals will support and guide you through the process of your legal claim. With our small team of highly knowledgeable attorneys, we pride ourselves in our ability to guarantee the personal attention necessary to handle your claim in a timely fashion and hold liable parties responsible for their actions to secure the settlement you deserve. FLIT

Check Yourself: The Most Common Causes of Auto Accidents

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Fellow Atlantans, how many times have you been cruising through traffic and get frustrated by other drivers? Chances are, this happens quite often. With Atlanta being a city packed with transplants from other cities and states – some larger, some smaller – the inevitability of a variance of driving styles are limitless! And because of this, unfortunately, this more than likely increases the odds of being in an auto accident. Nobody wants this headache so it’s best to not only be mindful and aware of the drivers behind you but also check yourself and your habits to avoid being involved in a collision. To be sure you’re not engaging in the most common causes of auto accidents, take a look a this list.

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Distracted Drivers 

Distracted drivers cause between 25-50 percent of all U.S. motor vehicle accidents. The most common distractions include:

  • Cell phone use
  • Rubbernecking
  • Looking at scenery
  • Other passengers or children
  • Adjusting the radio, cassette or CD player
  • Reading the newspaper, books, maps or other documents

Driver Fatigue

Drowsy drivers account for about 100,000 accidents every year in the United States, according to the U.S. National Traffic Safety Administration. The risk is greatest from 11 p.m. to 8 a.m., the time when most people are used to sleeping, however some people also become drowsy from noon to 2 p.m.

 

Drunk Driving

  • Drunk driving fatalities (.08 BAC or higher): 297 representing 25.2% of all total traffic deaths, a 0.7% increase from last year.
  • An average drunk driver has driven drunk 80 times before first arrest
  • Every two minutes, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash
  • On average, two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime
  • Every day in America, another 28 people die as a result of drunk driving crashes
  • In 2013, 10,076 people died in drunk driving crashes – one every 52 minutes – and 290,000 were injured in drunk driving crashes
  • In 2012, 29.1 million people admitted to driving under the influence of alcohol – that’s more than the population of Texas

Speeding

Speeding is a multi-tiered threat because not only does it reduce the amount of time necessary to avoid a crash, it also increases the risk of crashing and makes the crash more severe if it does occur. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), when speed increases from 40 mph to 60 mph, the energy released in a crash more than doubles.

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Aggressive Driving

According to the State Police, it’s anyone who: “Operates a motor vehicle in a selfish, bold or pushy manner, without regard for the rights or safety of the other users of the streets and highways.” This includes behaviors such as:

  • Aggressive tailgating
  • Flashing lights at other drivers because you’re irritated at them
  • Aggressive or rude gestures
  • Deliberately preventing another driver from moving their vehicle
  • Verbal abuse
  • Physical assaults
  • Disregarding traffic signals
  • Changing lanes frequently or in an unsafe manner
  • Failure to yield the right of way

Weather

Inclement weather, including heavy rain, hail, snowstorms, ice, high winds and fog can make driving more difficult. You’ll need more time to stop and may have trouble seeing the road clearly, so when the weather gets bad be sure to leave extra room between the car in front of you and slow down. If necessary, pull off the road.

 

Get the Facts About Rear End Collisions

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

A rear end collision occurs when a vehicle strikes the back of the vehicle in front of it. It’s a common type of auto accident and a costly one. Rear end collisions are often caused when the negligent driver is driving too quickly to stop in time to avoid striking the other vehicle. Other possible causes of rear end collisions include following the lead vehicle at an unsafe distance, being distracted while driving, driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and making an unsafe lane change. Sometimes, these auto accidents are caused by defective auto parts, such as tires and brakes.

Regardless of the cause of the auto accident, these types of crashes can be serious. Victims often suffer from whiplash, which is a soft tissue injury that involves the neck and can lead to chronic pain. If you’ve been injured in a rear end collision, it’s critical to enlist the help of a car wreck attorney right away.

The auto accident lawyers of the Law Office of Neil Flit provide aggressive legal representation to those who have been injured in auto accidents in the Atlanta area. Call us at (678) 809-7428 to arrange a free initial consultation or visit our website to learn more about your legal rights.

What You Need to Know About Phone Use While Driving in Atlanta

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Each year, thousands of Americans sustain serious personal injuries in auto accidents. Sadly, many of these car wrecks are entirely preventable. In response to accidents caused by negligent or distracted driving behaviors, all 50 states have recently passed legislation limiting or banning cell phone use. If you are an Atlanta motorist, here is what you need to know about cell phone use while driving.

Text Messaging

Car accidents can have devastating and lifelong effects, especially if a motorist or passenger is injured. While text messaging may seem like harmless behavior, recent studies have indicated that using your handheld device to send a text message or email can be even more dangerous than driving drunk. In 2010, Georgia lawmakers banned texting while driving, making it illegal to engage in this dangerous behavior on any Atlanta roadway. This ban is in effect even if your car is stopped at a stop sign or traffic light.

Cell Phone Use

Every state in the country has banned some form of cell phone use while driving, and Georgia is no exception. While Atlanta drivers who are over the age of 18 can still speak on a cellular device while driving, teenagers under 18 are completely banned from any cell phone use.

Hands-Free Phones

Did you know that using a hands-free phone may be just as dangerous as breaking the law by texting while driving? Many motorists falsely believe that hands-free devices allow them to better focus on the road. Unfortunately, drivers are just as distracted as they might be if they were using their cell phones, and putting the phone on speaker encourages a kind of temporary blindness that makes it impossible to identify hazards in the road.

If you have been injured by another motorist who broke the law by using her cell phone or texting while driving, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, missed work, and pain and suffering. Call the Law Offices of Neil Flit at (678) 809-7428 today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury and auto accident lawyer.