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What Is Considered Distracted Driving In Georgia?

By Butler Prather LLP on March 18, 2020

There is no doubt that distracted driving is a major concern for drivers and passengers on Georgia roadways. There are many types of distracted driving behaviors that can cause harm, and many citizens of this state are injured or killed each year due to distracted driving. Here, we want to discuss what is considered distracted driving on Georgia roadways.

What Is Considered Distracted Driving In Georgia?

These incidents are serious

During the latest reporting year in Georgia, there were approximately 400,000 traffic accidents. These incidents led to more than 1,500 total traffic crash fatalities and many thousands of injuries. Unfortunately, many of these injuries and fatalities were caused by distracted driving.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), distracted driving behavior can happen in many different ways. The CDC defines distracted driving in three main ways:

  • visual (taking your eyes off the road)
  • manual (taking your hands off the wheel)
  • cognitive (taking your mind off driving)

There are various types of behaviors that can contribute to distracted driving. This can include the following:

  • talking on a phone while driving
  • texting on the phone while operating the vehicle
  • looking at a phone screen to browse the internet
  • sending or reading emails
  • reaching around the vehicle for objects
  • applying makeup or looking in the mirror
  • adjusting a GPS device or music device
  • eating or drinking behind the wheel
  • talking or looking at other people in the vehicle

According to data from the CDC, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured each day due to distracted driving crashes in this country. Data shows that if a person is driving at 55 mph and takes their eyes off the roadway for approximately five seconds to send or receive a text message, they will have traveled far enough to cover the length of a football field.

Injuries from distracted driving accidents can be severe. It is not uncommon to see the following injuries after a distracted driving crash:

  • broken or dislocated bones
  • spinal cord injury with possible paralysis
  • traumatic brain injury
  • open head wound
  • severe laceration or amputation
  • concussion
  • whiplash
  • other soft tissue injury

Each of these injuries can lead to major medical bills, lost income if a victim cannot work, as well as tremendous pain and suffering damages.

What if a distracted driver causes your car accident?

If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a car accident that was caused by a distracted driver, you should seek legal assistance as soon as possible. In Georgia, determining liability is important for receiving compensation in the aftermath of a crash. It needs to be proven that the other driver caused the accident. Part of showing the other driver’s liability will revolve around showing that they were distracted at the time the incident happened.

A skilled Atlanta car accident attorney will work to obtain evidence that the at-fault driver was distracted. This could include gathering:

  • phone records to show call, text, or data usage
  • photo and video surveillance from the scene
  • eyewitness statements to corroborate the evidence

If a distracted driver caused your accident, you should be able to recover compensation through an insurance settlement or a personal injury lawsuit.

What does the law say?

In Georgia, it is illegal for drivers to have a phone in their hands or to use any part of their body to support a phone while driving. Drivers are only able to use their phones to make or receive calls if they use an earpiece, speakerphone, wireless headphones, or if the phone is connected to the vehicle.

Posted in: Car Accidents

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