Accidents resulting from distracted driving have led to millions of deaths and injuries on the highways of Georgia and throughout the United States. Distracted driving takes the lives of over 15 people, and injure hundreds more daily, according to the NHTS (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). When questioned, an average of 1 out of 3 driver’s expresses feelings less safe on the highway now than five years ago. The alarming number of accidents that occur on the highways due to unfocused drivers contributes to those feelings.
What Qualifies as Distracted Driving?
The National Highway Traffic Administration states that three types of distractions affect drivers:
- Vision— Most drivers take their eyes off the road for only a second, which is long enough to run off the road, hit an innocent pedestrian, or cause a traffic accident.
- Manual — Taking hands off the steering wheel to change the station on the radio, answer a cell phone, or read or send text a message is the worst type of distraction. Even though Georgia lawmakers passed laws to ban texting while driving, most drivers choose to ignore that law.
- Cognitive — Being lost in thought, and not paying attention to the highway is dangerous. Drivers should be focused and alert while driving on the highway. One distraction is one too many.
Any action of movement that deters a driver’s attention while operating a motor vehicle on the highway is called distracted driving. A few common — and deadly — distractions on the highway include:
- Sending and responding to text messages
- Talking or answering a cell phone call
- Operating Bluetooth technologies like navigation systems
- Changing the stations of the dashboard entertainment system
- Engaging in conversation with passengers in the vehicles or attending to pets or kids
- Taking care of personal grooming like applying makeup, trimming a moustache, or hair brushing
- Lighting and smoking a cigarette
- Having a meal while driving
- Attempting to read magazines- maps or other printed materials
- Reaching on the floor of the vehicle to pick up a dropped object
Do Not Text and Drive
Georgia takes seriously the prosecution of distracted drivers who drive while texting. Police officers can stop a driver they observe breaking the “texting while driving” law, even if the driver committed no traffic infractions. “Don’t text and drive laws” are primary laws, not only in Georgia, but in other parts of the country as well. To prevent accidents, injuries and deaths, Georgia law prohibits drivers 18 and younger from using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. This same ban also applies to school bus drivers.
The law includes handheld (portable) cell phones and hands free technology. The question is not whether the driver should be held accountable for a traffic accident, but whether the driver was actually distracted and performing an illegal activity while driving.
One example of performing an illegal activity while driving is talking on the cell phone and hitting another vehicle. The accident constitutes sufficient evidence that the driver was engaged in an illegal activity and caused a crash. A report the Highway Safety Commission Governors conducted revealed a stunning surprise. The report shows that although drivers know the dangers of distracted driving, they ignore the laws and take the risk. Distractions then cause drivers to lose control of their vehicle.
Any type of action or movement affecting a driver’s reaction and taking the driver’s attention away from the highway is dangerous and illegal.
Contact an Austell, Atlanta or Gwinnett County Distracted Driving Attorney Today
The Atlanta Personal Injury Attorneys at the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines work hard to bring distracted drivers to justice. If a distracted driver caused an accident that injured you or someone you love, contact Hines Law today (770) 941-0913 .