Drivers in Georgia must pay attention to the road at all times, and anything that distracts them from this, be it a phone or a conversation with a passenger, will raise their risk for a crash. In fact, according to a study from the University of Missouri, the risk for a crash or near-collision goes up 29 times for inattentive drivers in a highway work zone. It doesn’t matter how long that inattention lasts.
It is already well-known that highway work zones are a dangerous place to be. The lanes become narrow, and drivers don’t always reduce their speed limit. Researchers were able to analyze actual drivers’ interactions with their vehicle, the road and their surroundings prior to having an accident in these zones, making the study unique in its field. The data came from a naturalistic driving study performed by the Transportation Research Board during its second Strategic Highway Research Program. It involved over 3,000 drivers as they traveled more than 50 million miles.
Researchers believe their findings may help provide recommendations to transportation agencies looking to reduce work zone crashes. These recommendations can include “behavioral countermeasures” like policies against texting and all phone use. The findings may also be of benefit to automakers in their effort to build new tech, especially driverless vehicles.
When motor vehicle accidents arise from distracted driving, those who were not at fault or whose fault was less than the other side’s may be able to file a personal injury claim. A successful claim might cover the expenses accrued when plaintiffs had their injuries treated, the wages they lost during their recovery and any pain and suffering. It may be advisable for victims to hire a lawyer to help with each step of filing the claim.