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Smartphone Use Suspected in Upward Trend in Traffic Deaths


People in Georgia and across the country are driving on roads that have become more dangerous. Traffic deaths and injuries increased markedly between 2014 and 2015. Although the National Safety Council attributes some of the increase to lower fuel prices and a better economy, distracted drivers might also be contributing to the increase in fatalities. When AT&T conducted a survey inj May 2015, approximately 70 percent of people polled admitted to using smartphones while driving. Behaviors behind the wheel included texting and using email and social media.

Data published by the National Safety Council showed that car accident fatalities between January and June of 2015 increased 14 percent when compared to the same period in 2014. In addition to the approximately 19,000 deaths counted for that period, almost 2.3 million injuries were recorded for the first six months of 2015.

The president and CEO of the NSC expressed alarm about the increase in deaths and injuries. She described it as a trend and not a one-time spike. Because the death rate for 2015 was already high at the six-month mark, she said that after the summer, which is traditionally a dangerous season for accidents, the death count for 2015 might exceed 40,000. The actual number was not that far off.

Motor vehicle accidents can be devastating for those who are injured. Victims may need extensive medical care and treatment, and in some cases they are unable to return to gainful employment. When an accident has been caused by a distracted or otherwise negligent driver, a personal injury attorney could suggest the filing of a lawsuit that would seek compensation from the motorist for these and other losses.