It’s illegal to talk or text on your cell phone in Atlanta, Georgia as part of the state’s distracted driving rules. Every state has some law in place that makes distracted driving illegal. This is because legislators realize how dangerous this can be. People make stupid mistakes when they’re distracted. If someone does this and you’re the victim, then you need to talk to a car accident lawyer in Atlanta today.
Injury attorneys talk to a lot of clients who are seriously hurt in this type of crash. One of the problems is that you don’t see it coming. It’s almost impossible to know when a distracted driver is headed your way. Innocent people shouldn’t have to pay the price for other peoples’ ignorance. That’s why your car accident lawyer in Atlanta is going to work tirelessly to get you the family you deserve.
Georgia’s Distracted Driving Law
In 2018 Georgia introduced a distracted driving law, and in the year that followed, the Georgia State Patrol issued over 22,000 citations for distracted driving. That’s a huge number of traffic tickets!
The penalties are generally weak, but the point is there, there are penalties for distracted driving, and you and many others may face them if you’re caught with a phone in your hand. The first penalty is a $50 fine, and they add a point to your license, the second is a $100 fine with two points added, and the third is a $150 fine with three points tacked onto your record.
Sending and Reading Texts Leads to Thousands of Accidents Every Year
According to the National Highway Department of Transportation, more than 3,100 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in 2019. Most of these did, in fact, involve texting and drinking. People don’t realize that taking your eyes off the road even for a few seconds is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. It’s hard to imagine doing that without somebody getting hurt.
Even if you’re only distracted for three seconds, it’s like driving the length of a football field blindfolded. In that time, you could run over dozens of people or smash into a massive pileup. When people drive this way, others get hurt. Car accident lawyers in Atlanta handle distracted driving cases all the time. They can be hard to prove but your attorney will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve.
Other Causes of Distracted Drivings
After texting and driving, the following tend to be leading causes of distracted driving accidents in Atlanta:
- Eating and Drinking – So many people are on the go, trying to multitask that they forget about safety. All of us are probably guilty of eating or drinking something while driving. It makes sense to take the ten minutes and eat at home or at your desk. You don’t want a $5 fast-food lunch to turn into a multi-thousand-dollar lawsuit.
- Talking to Other Passengers – Very rarely does someone drive in the car with other people and not talk to them. That’s what people do. They talk to their friends or family while in the car. When you do this, you aren’t focusing on the road.
- Daydreaming – One of the biggest distractions is daydreaming. We all do this, all the time. All it takes is a fancy car or an attractive driver and we forget that we’re supposed to be watching the road.
- Playing with the Radio – We all fiddle with the radio when we’re in the car. Or we look for music on a handheld device. This takes our attention off the road.
If your car accident lawyer can prove that the other driver was engaged in them, you may be entitled to compensation.
Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers Handle Many Distracted Driving Accidents
Despite the initiatives to curb distracted driving, the numbers continue to increase. Atlanta car accident lawyers handle hundreds of these cases every year. Thankfully, not all distracted driving accidents are fatal. But too many of them are.
The government in Georgia has already set a very specific goal when it comes to preventing distracted driving. Their goal is to increase the number of people cited for distracted driving from 14,000 per year to 20,000 per year in 2020. They figure if they write enough tickets, people will finally get the hint.
However, we have seen that strict distracted driving laws alone have not solved the problem. Despite stricter laws, more people are doing it every year. With the number of apps and handheld devices, people are just too tempted. They can’t control themselves. Rather than wait ten minutes to use their phones, they do it while they’re driving.
It’s going to take a lot more than stricter laws to change people’s behavior.
How Can My Accident Attorney Prove the Other Driver was Distracted?
It is crucial to prove that the other driver was at fault for the accident. Various sources will help your lawyer get the information that he needs. These include:
The Police Report
In any disaster, the report by the police is one of the most important documents. That is because it compiles the statements from those involved and will have a conclusion of what happened. The report will state the cause of the accident, and if it was distracted driving, it is indicated.
The number one goal of your attorney is to get the report to determine fault. If the other driver was using their cell phone or distracted in any other way, the report will have the details. Using this, he can help you get compensation for your injuries and losses. If you choose to file a lawsuit, this is an essential piece of document.
The police dash camera may have caught the distracted driver hence the police is an excellent witness. The officer may also have seen the driver, for example, using their phone or not having their eyes on the road. Although this information will be captured in the police report, your lawyer may get the police to testify on your behalf if a need arises.
Video from Surveillance Cameras
When looking for evidence, your Atlanta, GA attorney will look at close surveillance cameras. That is done to check if any of them caught the distracted driver for further proof. It is one of the best ways to prove that the driver was not concentrating on driving since it is challenging to disapprove.
If it emerges that the other driver was on his phone while driving, the police will need to check his records. They will check when the last call was made and the duration. They will also be keen to check the messages records to see if any of them were sent sometime before the accident. Your lawyer can also subpoena to have the other driver’s phone records. Do not worry about the driver deleting them since it is possible to retrieve them hence proving liability.
Eyewitnesses are essential in such a case since they can provide crucial information. They can give information such as whether they say the distracted driver and the cause of distraction. Things such as wavering off the road or missing a bump are great when proving liability.
Distracted driving is dangerous as it can lead to severe crashes. However, for you to get all the evidence that you need to pin the other driver down, you need an attorney. He will check for any information and details that the Atlanta, GA police didn’t get to prove your case.
Getting adequate proof will ensure that you have an easier time when seeking compensation. If you choose to file a lawsuit and sue for damages, the evidence you have is significant. It is for this reason that you should inform our attorney as soon as the accident happens.
How Can You Avoid Other Distracted Drivers?
One of the biggest issues with distracted driving is that the police aren’t obligated to report the underlying causes of the crash. Yes, they issue citations based on what they observed, but they aren’t in a position to say, “that person was on their cell phone” without having some justification for documenting it. Because of the tricky position that police are put into, where they aren’t present to determine fault and can only report what they are told by witnesses or can see at the scene, they then end up using half-dedicated statements such as, “reason to believe that driver A was texting prior to the crash.”
Because the police aren’t accurately gathering data on distracted driving, and the insurance companies are clearly protective of their private data, there’s no clear path to move forward. With drunk driving, people were informed of the signs, they were told how to identify a drunk driver, and multiple groups such as MADD advocated for a mass release of data about DUIs.
So, here it is, the basics of how to identify a distracted driver:
- Moderate swerving (not leaving the lane, but not staying on a direct course either)
- Changes in speed (drivers slow down when checking their phones)
- Unexpected braking
- Sitting for too long at intersections when the driver should have the right of way
These are clearly fairly common, and it’s likely that they seem so common because driving with a phone is so commonplace now.
Call and Speak with an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer in Atlanta, Georgia
If you’ve been injured in a distracted driving accident, you need help. You can’t be expected to deal with everything yourself. This is why you should call our office and schedule your free, initial consultation with a seasoned car accident lawyer in Atlanta.