In 2017, there were 1,549 deaths due to car accidents on Georgia roads, and 70% of those deaths were due to distracted driving, impairment, or driving too fast for road conditions.
Distracted Driving Laws in Georgia
Georgia law states that distracted driving is any activity that distracts the driver from the safe operation of a vehicle. Included in the law are such activities such as:
Using a cellphone to text, chat, talk, or be on the Internet while driving
Drinking or eating
Talking to passengers
Adjusting the radio
Using your GPS or navigation device
Watching a video
These items are considered distractions because they either take the driver’s eyes off the road, takes the driver’s hands off the wheel, or causes the driver to be unable to concentrate on the road and road conditions. Below are some of the most prevalent activities that involve all three distractions.
Texting While Driving
Texting is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving in Georgia and around the country because it distracts the driver in three ways: their hands may be off the wheel of the vehicle, their eyes aren’t on the road, and they are concentrating on their texts and not the road.
As of July 1, 2018, it is illegal to even hold a cell phone in your hand at a traffic light, much less while driving. Civil attorneys believe that the new wall will prove to be a basis for aggravated damages if it can be shown that the cell phone was in hand at the time of the accident.
GPS and Navigation Systems
Using your GPS or navigation system while driving can be lead to distracted driving because your hands aren’t on the wheel, and your eyes are darting back and forth between the road and the GPS. This can lead to accidents.
Talking to Passengers
Talking to passengers and looking in the rear-view mirror to see what your children or pets are doing is dangerous because you’re not paying attention to the road or traffic. In many cases, at least one hand is off the wheel, and your eyes are off the road.
Who Is At Fault in a Distracted Driving Accident in Georgia
If you were distracted while driving and caused an accident, you will legally be found to be at fault. In Georgia, that means you will be liable for paying all costs and damages, usually through your insurance, for the accident.
Sometimes it can be difficult to prove the driver who hit you was distracted at the time of the accident, but there are a couple of ways to gather evidence to support your claim. For example, witness statements taken at the scene of the accident could help you and your attorney show the driver that caused the accident was distracted. In addition, if the at-fault driver was using their cellphone, it may be possible for your attorney to obtain that driver’s cellphone records to show whether or not the driver was talking or texting at the time of the accident.
If you were driving distracted and caused an accident, not only will you face distracted driving charges, but, in Georgia, you could face a civil liability lawsuit for any injuries you caused.
In Georgia, distracted driving may be harder to prove than other types of accident claims. If you were hit by a distracted driver, Atlanta, Georgia attorney, Christopher Simon strongly encourages you to seek out the advice of a qualified Atlanta car accident attorney who can assist you in building a strong case to present to the insurance company.
In addition, your attorney can assist you in receiving monetary compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and other losses due to being hit by a distracted driver.