A freeway accident in suburban Atlanta resulted in the death of two people and injuries to two others. According to an Associated Press news report, the fatal car accident occurred on eastbound Interstate 285 near North Peachtree Road in Dunwood. Officials say the driver of a Ford Explorer may have been distracted by a passenger before losing control. The vehicle overturned and one passenger was ejected while another was partially ejected. The driver and one passenger were hospitalized with only minor injuries, but two passengers, aged 22 and 18 respectively, were killed.
Distracted driving is most commonly affiliated with cell phone use, but there are many types of distractions that can lead to an accident. In fact, a person is considered distracted any time his or her attention is diverted from the primary task of driving. Some of the types of distractions that can lead to a serious injury crash include:
- Text messaging
- Using a phone to make a call
- Turning to talk to passengers
- Grooming while using the mirror
- Reading a map or navigation system
- Adjusting an iPod, CD player, or radio
- Watching a video
- Eating or drinking
Why is it important to limit in-car distractions? If you are traveling at 55 mph and you take your eyes off the road for five seconds, you would have traveled the length of a football field without watching traffic. During that time, the roadway and traffic conditions may change. By the time you notice, it could be too late to avoid a collision.
These types of accidents are tragically common. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 3,328 traffic deaths resulting from distraction-related crashes in 2012 alone. Georgia has distracted driving laws in place including a ban on texting for all drivers and a ban on all cell phone use for novice drivers. But that has not been enough to prevent all distracted driving accidents.
If you lose a loved one in a distracted driving accident, you will need to act quickly to hold the at-fault party accountable for your losses. Support may be available for damages such as medical bills, funeral expenses, lost future wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. An experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer can help victims and their families in such cases better understand their legal rights and options.