Distracted driving is something that we’ve all done. It’s so hard not to check your phone when a notification comes in or to not change the station six times when you didn’t like that one song that came on the radio. Distractions are all around us, and we spend so much time in our vehicles that it’s nearly impossible to avoid them.
We eat in our cars, some people do their hair or makeup behind the wheel, and no doubt, most drivers text. So what can be done about this plague on our roads? We can take back some control from technology, add a dose of self-control, and then keep a lookout for people who haven’t woken up to the dangers of distracted driving. If you’re involved in an accident due to a distracted driver, you need to contact our Georgia car accident attorneys.
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.
Can Your Phone Actually Help You?
Surprisingly yes, your phone can help you battle distracted driving. On both Apple and Android systems, you can set limitations on your phone when you’re driving. The app or particular setting function will vary depending on your network provider and phone operating system; however, the features are always accessible.
Additionally, you can download an app. These apps detect speed and don’t pause for small stops such as stoplights or stop signs. While these apps will usually take over your screen, they still allow for emergency calls should something happen. However, they will often mask or mute all notifications, including phone calls, unless you set exceptions.
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 witness, 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.
What to Do After a Distracted Driving Crash – Reach Out To Atlanta’s Local Auto Accident Lawyers
Although it might seem right to get out of the car and unleash your anger on the driver who just couldn’t be bothered to pay attention, that’s a bad idea. In fact, you should only talk to the officer that responds to the scene, your insurance company, and your attorney. Of course, you do need to exchange your information with that driver, just be sure to do so in a civil manner. Don’t talk about the crash or your suspicion of them having been on the phone.
Calling in the skilled attorneys at the Weinstein Firm is one of the best options that you can make for your case. With an attorney, you can work to recover phone records to prove distracted driving. Go beyond the suspicions of a police officer and get hard proof to determine if the other driver was using their phone. Contact the Weinstein Firm today.