According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 38,000 people die yearly in motor vehicle crashes in the United States. These accidents happen due to several negligent acts of drivers and other road users. A typical example of driver’s negligence is distracted driving.
Driving while distracted has slowly become a menace on Winston road and other parts of Georgia. The problem is compounded in this era of smartphones, where people are constantly texting or checking their social media feeds for the latest trends. Our Winston auto accident lawyers delve into what amounts to distracted driving under Georgia law in this article. In addition, if a distracted driver causes an accident you’re involved in, our attorneys at The Weinstein Firm can help you get maximum compensation.
What Is Distracted Driving Under Georgia Law?
It is illegal to drive while distracted in Georgia, and it is a ground for fault in a car accident. Distracted driving simply means focusing your attention on another task other than driving. The preceding definition is restrictive as distracted driving has to do with more than focusing on another task.
Going by the provisions of the Official Code of Georgia (O.C.G.A) section 40-6-241, distracted driving covers anything that takes your mind off the road. For this reason, Georgia and the CDC identified three types of distractions, namely visual, manual, cognitive.
Visual distractions mean looking away from the road at something else or having something else in your line of sight. An excellent example is having a front passenger call your attention away to something on their phone or looking at billboards on the road’s side for too long.
Manual distractions mean fiddling with something or using your hands for something other than driving. Eating, searching for things in your car, texting are excellent examples.
Cognitive or mental distractions have to do with mentally focusing on something other than driving. For instance, being lost in thought or engaging in a heated discussion on a headset amounts to cognitive distraction.
Under Georgia law, the following are examples of distracted driving:
- Sending emails on a cell phone
- Talking on the phone, whether or not you’re using a hands-free device
- Watching movies on portable DVD players or tablets
- Leaning over to pick an object
- Adjusting radio settings
- Looking over to check on children in the backseat
- Eating while driving
- Reading maps or printed directions
- Talking to other passengers in the vehicle
- Applying makeup, etc.
How Big Is the Problem of Distracted Driving?
According to the CDC, at 55 miles per hour, sending or reading a text is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed. The center also notes that eight people die in crashes reportedly involving a distracted driver every day in the United States. In 2018, over 2,800 people died, with an estimated 400,000 injured in accidents caused by distracted driving. About 1 in 5 of those killed were outside a vehicle, either walking or riding their bikes.
The above data shows how big the problem of distracted driving is and why motorists must keep their eyes and minds on the road. Drivers who drive distracted put themselves and other people at risk. When an accident happens, they are liable to pay compensation for the harm they caused.
How Easy Is It To Prove Distracted Driving?
Proving that a driver was distracted when they collided with your car or property is not easy. This is because you might not even have noticed that the driver was distracted and may not have proof. So, it becomes your word against theirs in the absence of evidence.
However, the job of proving fault would be easier when you work with a Winston car accident lawyer. The attorney will help you do the following:
- Subpoena the other driver’s phone record to check their activity at the crash time
- Interview witnesses to determine if anyone saw what the other driver was doing before the crash
- Request video footage from nearby security cameras
- Examine the other driver’s vehicle interior to see what they were up to before the accident, perhaps they were eating
- Question the other driver on oath during a deposition
Contact Us Today!
At The Weinstein Firm, we understand all too well the dangers of distracted driving. This is why we dedicate our time and resources to helping accident victims get the compensation they deserve. Our Winston car accident lawyers have won millions of dollars for our client and will like to add you to our success story. Contact us today to learn how we can help you during a free case review.