Since 2014, the annual number of traffic deaths has increased by 10 percent. Drivers in Georgia are probably thinking that technology is to blame. While public safety officials have not made a definitive link yet, this indeed seems to be the case. Mobile tech and automated features are making many drivers distracted and complacent.

Many recent studies have come out exploring the relationship between technology and driver behavior. For instance, an analysis by AAA had 64 participants drive in five different vehicles that each contained a built-in infotainment system. The participants were asked to make calls, text, enter destinations and use the other features of the infotainment systems. At other points, they were asked to do the same for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. These interfaces run off smartphones.

Researchers concluded that the smartphone systems are less distracting, though they still demand a high level of attention from drivers. Android Auto required less from drivers when they entered in a destination while CarPlay allowed for text messaging without so much distraction.

As for the effect of automated features like Tesla’s Autopilot, this continues to be analyzed by researchers at MIT. Another study, this time from Agero, a provider of roadside assistance systems, shows that drivers aged 17 to 22 use their phones 12 percent of their time while behind the wheel.

All of these studies agree that there is no single cure for distracted driving. When distraction leads to pedestrian accidents or crashes with other drivers, it can give victims the grounds for an injury claim. An Injured pedestrian can speak with a lawyer, who can hire professionals to gather proof against the driver and show how extensive the injuries are. The lawyer can then handle negotiations or, if negotiations fall through, litigation.