Car accidents in Atlanta happen so often that we eventually ask ourselves what the root of the problem is behind these tragedies. All too frequently, we are stressed, overworked, rushing to and from, and feel immense pressure to earn what is needed for bills. Along with that, we are way more technologically connected now than ever before in history. Our cell phones can be commonly found in our hands, or pockets, or are at least somewhere very close by. We may feel the urge to check our phones for new messages, alerts, emails, or other notifications. This tool may very well be our main form of communication, directions, resources, and entertainment in today’s society.
Despite how helpful this tool can be, its usage behind the wheel can contribute to a large percentage of accidents that happen on a daily basis. Here in the article to follow, a distracted car accident lawyer in Atlanta examines this issue in more depth.
The ability to multitask is a great quality to add to a resume. It’s handy when you’re at work or home watching the kids, cooking dinner, and attempting to clean at the same time. However, it is nearly impossible to apply that same skill to texting on your phone while fully focusing on driving.
Texting while driving is negligent behavior that poses a real threat and danger to everyone on the road. Despite the numerous campaigns, billboards, and news stories that warn us of the dangers of texting and driving, drivers still use their cell phones behind the wheel.
Drivers oftentimes believe that responding to a text is harmless and are convinced they won’t get distracted. However, this is far from true. In recent years, texting while driving resulted in more deaths than drunk driving crashes.
The Dangers of Texting and Driving
In 2017, distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,166 individuals. Distracted driving is any activity that takes your focus off the road. This includes talking or texting on your cell phone, eating or drinking, reaching over to grab something that fell, or changing the radio station. Distracting driving is anything that diverts your attention away from driving.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, there are approximately 9 deaths and 1,000 injuries every day in the United States as a result of distracted driving. 26% of all motor vehicle collisions involve the use of a cell phone, and every year, the number of individuals that are injured increases.
Texting while driving, on average, takes your eyes off the road for approximately 4.6 seconds. While it may not seem like a long time, 4.6 seconds increases your chances of crashing by 23%.
Most victims of texting and driving car crashes are teenagers. The activity breaks concentration off the road and causes drivers to swerve in and out of their lanes as well as slows down reaction time. Texting and driving isn’t just about what you can “manage” but impacts and impairs every driver, regardless of age.
Georgia Laws and Penalties for Texting While Driving
Just last summer, Georgia’s Hands-Free Law went into effect banning drivers from having their phones in their hands or touching any part of their body while operating a vehicle. The law still allows drivers to talk on their phones if using Bluetooth or any other voice-operated technology. But if a cop catches you even pushing a button on your phone while driving, that’s an instant ticket.
Consequences for texting while driving differ from state to state. Generally, any type of distracted driving can lead to hefty fines, increased insurance rates, and points on your driving record. Worse penalties for texting and driving include suspension of your driver’s license, reckless driving convictions, or even vehicular homicide charges if it results in the death of another person.
Is Your Text Worth It?
Next time you are on the road and receive that red notification at the top corner of your message app, take a second to think if it’s worth it. In a day and age where the internet, communication, and entertainment are all easily accessible at our fingertips, we feel an urgency to respond to messages that can wait.
While responding to a text message may not feel like that big of a deal, it’s a few seconds you’re not focused that could lead to serious consequences. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash caused by a distracted driver, there’s no need for you to go through this on your own. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Butler Kahn to get the help that you need.
Why is it that this device is just so distracting?
Cell phones can provide us with entertainment when we are feeling bored. It has plenty of applications and games available at our fingertips for a quick distraction when needed. This tool can now fill the gaps of previously free mental space. We may now have less tolerance for moments that lack mental stimulation.
For example, we may feel tempted to turn to our phones while sitting at red lights or driving in traffic. However, these risky habits can quickly lead to accidents where all parties involved can suffer painful injuries and critical conditions.
What are signs that a driver next to me is on their cell phone?
If you see a driver on the road near you that is driving recklessly because they are on their cell phone, do not hesitate to call the police. It takes only a fraction of a second for a driver to not notice they have run a red light or are speeding way past the limit. Signs that a driver is probably on their cell phone can include:
- Frequently looking down into their lap for seconds at a time
- Is slowly swerving back and forth in their lane going at a slow speed
- Suddenly stopping last minute as a car ahead of them stops at a street light or stop sign
- You can literally see the person holding their cell phone while driving (not everyone tries to conceal their activity)
What should I do if someone hit me because they were on their phone?
If a driver caused an accident due to being on their cell phone and you suffered losses as a result, you can consider filing a civil lawsuit against him or her for injuries and damages. Meeting with a car accident lawyer Atlanta clients turn to from Butler Kahn can help you get a better idea about the process behind filing such a lawsuit. The distracted driver at-fault may be responsible for your:
- Loss of wages due to missing work to recover
- Medical expenses (hospital bills, emergency, ambulance ride)
- Pain and suffering
- Diagnostics and lab work
- X-rays, CT scans, MRI
- Prescription medication
- Vehicle repairs