Have you heard the buzz? Grabbing a fry from your to-go bag may be illegal! Georgia has taken a very proactive approach to decrease the number of accidents and deaths on the road. Their biggest hurdle is distracted driving. An Atlanta car wreck attorney is probably very familiar with distracted driving but is eating behind the wheel too far?
Distracted driving includes things such as drinking or being under the influence and talking on your phone. Texting is the most frequent form of distracted driving with chatty passengers, and the radio being close runners-up.
Georgia Law on Distracted Driving
Since 2014 Georgia has relied on one law in particular and updated it many times since. Georgia Code Section 40-6-241 states, “… shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver…” This section could be applied to anything, including eating.
Distracted driving is a serious issue and should be weighed carefully. But does this law undermine that seriousness of what havoc distracted driving can produce? Many attorneys think so. The common argument in cases which involve eating is that many people who eat behind the wheel don’t exhibit any symptoms of distraction.
However, there is another turn on the issue. What about the people reaching for more than just a fry from a to-go bag? No doubt you’ve seen people applying makeup or eating with a bowl and spoon. Georgia crafted this law with the intent of making its application as flexible as possible.
Did a distracted, or eating, driver hit you? If so, then you may have a claim to their fault or negligence because of this very broad and fluid law.
The Honest Impact of Eating While Driving
It’s easy to argue that taking a drink of coffee is not the same as texting. However, distracted drivers make up for a substantial amount of crashes in Georgia. It is possible that a hamburger is responsible for many auto accidents.
When you consider the other factors at play, it’s clear that taking a quick bite, or sip may not be as friendly or safe as it seems. When traveling through the freeways near Atlanta, drivers are moving at speeds of 60 MPH or more. Would you eat a burger while moving more than 90 feet per second? In any other scenario, this situation seems ridiculous.
In 2017 distracted driving directly resulted in 3,166 deaths. While texting is the primary focus behind distracted driving, eating is an equally contributing factor. So, if police officers are writing tickets for eating behind the wheel, why are drive-thrus still available?
It’s not too much to expect that drivers make careful decisions and practice moderation. Honestly, eating behind the wheel is something that many people need to accept is dangerous. The difference between reading something on your phone and biting down into a sandwich is not so substantial.
Eating when driving manually, visually, and mentally detracts from the attention which needs to be on the road. Visually a driver’s eyes move away from the road to complete another task. A driver could be fighting with a wrapper while they smash into the car in front of them.
When it comes to the other aspects of distraction, a driver’s hands or at least one of them is removed from the wheel. Then you consider that the focus has moved from driving onto another task. The combination of all these distractions together makes the task unacceptable when driving.
Contact A Car Wreck Attorney in Atlanta
Proving that someone was on the phone is one thing. But to prove that your crash happened because someone was eating is a little different. You’ll likely need to contact the police at the time of the crash to start the process of proving the driver was distracted.
If police aren’t able to respond to the scene because injuries aren’t severe enough, inform them that you want your suspicions recorded. By filing a formal police report which documents your suspicions of their distraction, you can use that in your claim. A police report won’t stand on its own as proof though. You will need to rely on a car wreck attorney to decide if and how you can prove the other driver was distracted and negligent.
Contact us for help with your case now. There are very few things in life more stressful than trying to make your way through a car crash claim. If the claim is difficult to prove or fault is murky, then you will definitely need assistance.