There is no question that driving distracted is dangerous. For this reason, Georgia law prohibits all drivers from texting on their cell phones when behind the wheel. Moreover, young drivers under the age of 18 cannot use a wireless communication device of any kind while driving, this includes speaking on the phone whether or not the driver is using a hands-free device. This is because cell phone use is one of the leading causes of distracted driving, particularly amongst teens and young adults.
It is critical to remain focused on the road whenever your vehicle is in motion. A seemingly harmless act like turning around to speak with a passenger or to check on your kids can lead to a fatal car accident. And while cell phone use contributes to a significant number of distracted driving crashes, it is not the only form of distraction. A driver is distracted whenever they are eating, putting on makeup, reading a map, drinking, using a GPS navigation system or even turning up the radio.
The second you take your eyes off the road, take your hands off the wheel or take your mind off of driving, you are distracted. These types of cognitive, visual and manual distractions are dangerous by themselves, but they can be particularly hazardous when combined. For example, when you are using a GPS system, your mind is focused on the address of your destination, your hands are on your cell phone or GPS system and your eyes may dart from the roadway to you GPS device. This means you are distracted cognitively, manually and visually all at the same time.
To put this in perspective, when you are traveling at a speed of 50 to 60 miles per hour, you can travel the length of a football field within seconds! So, whenever you look away from the road for even a few seconds, it’s like driving 100+ yards blindfolded. Assuming you can even stay in your own lane during this time, if the traffic or weather conditions change you will likely be unable to avoid a collision.
Drivers who do not pay attention to the road and their surroundings are considered negligent under Georgia law. If your distractedness causes a car accident, you will be held liable for the damages and injuries you cause. Likewise, if a distracted driver causes your car accident, you will be able to seek compensation for your loses (medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.) from that driver. A qualified Georgia personal injury attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options in these scenarios.
It is always best to hire an attorney to represent you in your accident case, especially if you have sustained injures. An attorney can help you to maximize your recovery and better defend you against liability if you’re at fault.
If you have been injured due to the actions of a distracted driver, you need a personal injury attorney to review your case and determine which parties may be at fault. At Murphy & Garner, LLC we have decades of experience representing clients in all types of negligence and personal injury cases.