Focus on Interpersonal Relationships may Help Reduce Distracted Driving Car Accident Rates

New  studies show that at least half of all Americans admit to using a cell phone while driving, even while being aware of the risks of these behaviors.  The  study also suggests that using a more interpersonal approach that targets personal and work relationships could be key to preventing auto accidents caused by distracted driving.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety report, more than 3000 car accident wrongful deaths in 2020 were linked to distracted driving.  However, because it is so difficult to identify distraction as the cause of an auto accident, the actual number of people being killed in car accidents every year is likely even higher.

The  new study was conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and has bad news for transportation safety advocates.   While the strong focus on raising awareness about the dangers of using cell phones while driving have made a mark and most Americans are now aware of the dangers of using cell phones while driving, the study finds that this knowledge does not necessarily translate into greater caution behind the wheel.

Across the country, federal as well as state transportation officials have focused on distracted driving and particularly the threats that arise from using cell phones and electronic communication devices at the wheel as being especially dangerous to drivers.  Those efforts have definitely borne fruit and most of the drivers in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study were aware of the dangers of using cell phones while driving.  However, that knowledge did not prevent 50% of them from admitting that they used cell phones while driving at least once in the past month.

The study also found that encouragement  by family members, friends and passengers in the car can help reduce the incidence of such behaviors.  In  the survey, most motorists  admitted that they would be less likely to engage in such behaviors if pushed to do so by people in their circle. For example, contracts  between parents and teen drivers that  impose bans on texting and talking on the cell phone while behind the wheel have been found to be beneficial in reducing the threat of distracted driving by teen drivers. The drivers in the study also admitted that they often felt pressure to respond to calls from their workplace, thereby increasing their auto accident risks. Employers have a key role to play in preventing this.

This shows that while laws against distracted driving, awareness campaigns and enforcement drives can help reduce the risk of such behaviors, the impact of these may be strengthened by the role of one’s family, social  or work circles.

The Atlanta car crash attorneys at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons injured in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia.  If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and determine if you have legal options to a claim for damages.   You may be eligible for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income and other types of damages.  Talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case.

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