As any Athens accident attorney knows, when the cops arrive at the scene of a motor vehicle accident, they will conduct a thorough investigation. They will typically ask both drivers whether they were using a cell phone at the time of the crash.
In about 95% of these cases, the drivers will report that they were not using a phone. Of course, our Athens car accident lawyers know that this can’t be true. Studies have shown that as many as 90% of all adult drivers admit to driving while distracted. More than 60% report texting and driving on a regular basis.
Another 33% admit that they regularly send and read emails while behind the wheel. It should not be surprising then that more than 1,000 per day are injured in distracted driving accidents every day in this country.
Here, we will discuss some of the more common distractions. We will also highlight some of the statistics when it comes to distracted driving. One thing is clear – smartphones seem to be the biggest culprit. Whether a person is texting or watching a video on their phone, it is something you should do when you’re driving.
Georgia Law Prohibits Use of a Cell Phone or Other Handheld Device While Driving
In Georgia, as in most states, it is against the law to text and drive. In fact, on July 1 of 2018, the Governor of Georgia passed a new law regarding texting and driving. Title 40 of the Official Code Annotated, section 5-57-(c) states that it is not only illegal to text and drive, but it also criminalizes the following:
- Your cell phone cannot be in your hand or touching your body
- You cannot record a video while behind the wheel
- Even if you have a hands-free device, you cannot send or read an email or any other type of message
- You are also prohibited from reading, responding, or sending a message on social media
- You are prohibited from watching a video on a handheld device
Sadly, for most drivers in Georgia, this law means nothing. Most people do all of the above without any regard for the consequences.
Certain Distractions Are Much More Common Than Others
As your Athens accident attorneys are well aware, there are certain distractions that are more dangerous than others. Similarly, there are some distractions that are much more common than others as well. Some of these include the following, in no certain order:
- Texting and driving
- Messaging on any handheld device
- Eating and drinking
- Reading or searching on a navigation system
- Talking to passengers
- Paying attention to other cars, drivers, and places rather than paying attention to the road
- Playing with the radio or streaming device
It’s easy to denounce the people who drive while they’re distracted. After all, taking your eyes off the road for about 5 seconds is like driving across a football field blindfolded. The potential consequences are disastrous.
An Athens Accident Attorney Explains: Why Do People Say They Drive While They’re Distracted?
As stated briefly above, it is easy to criticize the people who cause a distracted driving accident. However, you must realize that the people our car accident lawyer in Athens file suit against are just people. They make the same mistakes you could make. Unfortunately, their mistake ended up causing a serious motor vehicle accident. When researchers have asked people why they do things like text and drive, they all give similar responses.
Some of the reasons why people decide to drive while distracted include the following:
- They feel it is more convenient to just do what they have to do in the moment, rather than waiting until they arrive to their destination
- FOMO (fear of missing out)
- It hasn’t caused a problem in the past so why worry now?
None of these are sufficient reasons to drive while distracted. This is especially true when their behavior causes an innocent person to suffer an injury or loss.
Why is So Dangerous to Drive While Distracted?
It seems rather obvious why it would be dangerous to drive while distracted. Nobody should operate a heavy piece of machinery like a car or SUV unless they’re paying full attention to the road. If you get in the car to go somewhere, you should remember to send or read any messages before you start your car. There is really no voicemail or video that is so important it cannot wait until you reach your destination.
Perhaps if people understood just how much they can damage a person’s life, they would behave a bit differently. Our Athens accident attorneys meet with hundreds of people every year whose lives have been changed (for the worse) as a result of a distracted driving accident.
You Shouldn’t Wait Too Long to Meet with an Athens Accident Attorney
We always tell accident victims that they should not wait longer than is necessary to call an Athens accident attorney. The statute of limitations for a car accident in Georgia is only two years. If you wait until the last minute, your car accident lawyer in Athens won’t have enough time to properly prepare your case.
If the person who hit you was distracted at the time of the crash, they should be held accountable. It’s one thing to make an innocent mistake.
However, when somebody takes their cell phone out and chooses to text or email someone, they deserve to be held liable. It isn’t fair that one person’s senselessness should cause somebody else to suffer a serious injury or even death.
We recommend that you contact our office so we can schedule your free consultation with an Athens accident attorney. This gives you the chance to ask any questions you may have. It also gives our car accident lawyer in Athens the opportunity to review your case and see if it’s worth pursuing.
You can bet the other driver’s insurance carrier will have a team of lawyers helping them. It’s important that you have somebody in your corner as well.