Most everybody knows that texting and driving is dangerous. It’s also against the law. Yet our Athens car accident lawyers help people who were injured in texting and driving cases all the time. Here, we’ll explain how your Athens injury lawyer can prove it.
Distracted Driving is One of the Leading Causes of Motor Vehicle Accidents
Whether it’s texting and driving or some other form of distracted driving, it’s a terribly dangerous habit. It’s one of the leading causes of motor vehicle accidents in this country. The unfortunate thing about these accidents is that they were preventable.
There are enough devastating accidents that aren’t preventable. This is why it’s so frustrating for our Athens injury lawyers. The fact that we represent people who were senselessly injured reinforces the fact that people don’t think about the risks they create.
The Other Driver Isn’t Going to Admit They Were Texting and Driving
Of course, when we first confront the other driver and their insurance carrier, they aren’t going to admit that they were texting and driving. Nobody would do that because they know how difficult it can be to prove it happened.
This means that your Athens car accident lawyer has to find another way to demonstrate that the defendant was texting at the time of the crash. With the help of technology and expert witnesses, we usually find a way to do this.
How Many People Still Text and Drive in the U.S.?
Given the dangerous nature of texting and driving, one would be surprised to learn how many people still do it. Despite the strict laws in the U.S., more than 60% of all adult drivers admit that they text and drive.
The numbers are more staggering for young people. Studies have shown that teen drivers admit to writing at least one text every time they get behind the wheel.
More Than 60% of All Adults Over 18 Admit to Texting and Driving
As briefly stated above, more than half of all drivers admit that they text and drive. The ironic thing about this is that, according to a study conducted by AAA, 96% of all drivers polled said they know texting and driving is dangerous.
What Are the Texting and Driving Laws in Georgia?
There is no doubt whether it’s illegal to text and drive in the State of Georgia. After watching hundreds of people dying every year in texting and driving accidents, the government finally passed a substantial law in 2018.
This new law embodies what experts have learned over the years. Texting and driving is not only dangerous, but it can be life-threatening.
Georgia Passed Their “Hands-Free Georgia Act” in 2018
Like most other states, Georgia has strict laws against texting and driving. In 2018, the legislature passed a law that prohibits drivers from even touching a cell phone or other device while they’re behind the wheel.
The “Hands-Free Georgia Act” passed more than five years ago makes the use of cell phones illegal while driving. The law is rather explicit. Some of the behaviors prohibited by the act include:
- Drivers cannot watch a video while behind the wheel
- Motorists can only use voice to text – they aren’t allowed to touch their phones
- Drivers cannot read, send, or write texts while driving
- A cell phone is not allowed to touch any part of the driver while they’re behind the wheel
This list isn’t exhaustive. However, it does make it clear where the State stands on the issue of texting and driving.
Unfortunately, the Penalties for Violating the “Hands-Free Act” are Weak
One of the problems is that the “Hands-Free Georgia Act” isn’t very intimidating. If a person is caught using their cell phone while driving, they are issued a small fine.
The first offense carries a fine of $50 and one point against the driver’s license. A second offense carries a fine of $100 and two points. Unfortunately, while the fines with a third offense are slightly higher at $150, they don’t increase after that.
Texting and Driving is Just Like Driving the Length of a Football Field with a Blindfold On
Texting while driving, whether it’s reading a text or writing one, is extremely dangerous. Experts have indicated that when a person driving 55 mph reads a text, it’s like driving the length of a football field with their eyes closed.
Your Athens Injury Lawyer Will Have to Prove That the Defendant Was Texting and Driving
In order to prove that the other driver was negligent, your Athens car accident lawyer must demonstrate that they were texting and driving. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to do this.
Your attorney will need to get documentation showing that the defendant was using their cell phone immediately before or during the crash. This information also needs to be provided by a reliable source. It’s not enough for you to say that you saw the other driver texting.
Your Athens Injury Lawyer May Find Witnesses Who Saw the Other Driving Using Their Phone
One thing your Athens car accident lawyer can do is find a witness who saw the defendant texting and driving. This witness could be a passenger who was in the other driver’s vehicle at the time of the crash. Or it can be a stranger.
It can be difficult to convince a third party to testify at your trial. This is because most people aren’t comfortable getting involved in a stranger’s lawsuit.
Your Athens Car Accident Lawyer May Be Able to Subpoena the Defendant’s Phone Records
One other thing your Athens injury can do is get a copy of the defendant’s phone records. It’s easy to get a copy of your own phone records. Most people can just go online and access this information.
What our Athens car accident lawyers usually have to do is subpoena a copy of these records from the phone company. According to Georgia Code §24-13-23, cell phone records are discoverable if you can prove they are relevant.
Since cell phone records are directly relevant to the issue of fault, your Athens injury lawyer should be able to demand a copy.
It’s a Good Idea to Reach Out to an Experienced Athens Injury Lawyer as Soon as Possible
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, your Athens car accident lawyer may be able to get you damages. It all depends on whether you can prove the other driver was negligent. There are a variety of ways they can do this.
Despite the strict texting and driving laws in Georgia, more than 60% of all drivers admit to texting while behind the wheel. It’s just a matter of your Athens injury lawyer proving it.
Call today and schedule your free, initial consultation.