Almost half (45%) of all drivers in America have admitted to texting and driving. While none of us are perfect drivers, all of us are equally susceptible to being distracted while driving.
If you take your eyes off the road, even for a moment, then you run the risk of making an error and getting into an accident. Unfortunately, most distracted driving accidents lead to more serious losses than other accidents because the distracted driver doesn’t have time to self-correct or minimize the severity of an accident in the heat of the moment.
Are you interested to learn more about the most common deadly distractions in Georgia and what to do if you get involved in a distracted driving accident? Learn everything you need to know about distracted driving accidents in Georgia and how our legal team can help you if you’re looking for justice after a crash below.
This is How Many Distracted Driving Accidents Happen in Georgia
Car accidents occur every day in Georgia, and many of them happen when a driver gets momentarily distracted. Most distracted driving accidents begin with a vigilant driver who is going down the road at a steady pace. Over time, however, something grabs their mental focus and steers it away from the road – even if it’s just for a moment.
For instance, the driver’s cellphone might buzz with an alert. The radio station might change to a song that brings up terrible memories. The driver might spill a beverage on the floor.
The driver takes their focus off the road to deal with the issue and suddenly, something occurs on the road that leads to a crash.
Common Types of Deadly Distractions that Cause Distracted Driving
According to the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety data, distracted driving statistics in Georgia reveal a significant trend. Nearly half (47%) of all traffic accidents in Georgia were distraction-related in 2020.
As you can imagine, many scenarios could lead a driver to momentarily take their focus off the road. Some of these distractions are more common than others. Sadly, many of these distractions can be fatal for individuals who get involved in a car accident as a result. Below, we’ll go over some of the leading types of distractions that lead to fatal accidents in Georgia.
The leading cause of most distracted driving accidents in Georgia is cell phones. A driver can easily become distracted by their cell phone if an alert goes off. The driver may attempt to pick up their phone to see what the alert says, or they may answer a call. Even worse, the driver could try to text, play a mobile game, or even use a streaming service all while splitting their focus between the phone and the road.
The best way to avoid this type of situation is to keep your cell phone on silent or do not disturb mode while you’re driving. Avoid the temptation to pick it up at all.
Georgia also has a hands-free law, which states that drivers can’t be touching or holding their cell phones while driving. If you attempt to do so, then you could be held liable for any accident that results from your distracted behavior.
2. Cognitive Impairment: Intoxication, Fatigue, and More
A huge number of Georgia traffic fatalities occur due to cognitive impairment. A driver who isn’t cognitively prepared to handle the stresses of driving can easily find themselves in an overwhelming situation that leads to a crash.
One of the top causes of cognitive impairment is intoxication. Drivers should never consume alcohol, controlled substances, marijuana, or prescription pills before attempting to drive. These substances can alter your judgment, reaction times, and could lead to a collision.
Another leading cause of cognitive impairment is drowsy driving. Driving while fatigued is dangerous because it can cause drivers to nod off behind the wheel. It can also lead to reduced reaction times and impaired judgment.
Cognitive impairment doesn’t have to be a result of external factors, either. Some drivers simply get distracted by their own thoughts and are led away by their daydreams. Sadly, this can quickly lead to an accident.
3. Eating, Drinking, or Smoking Behind the Wheel
Drivers can also become distracted when they try to eat, drink, or smoke while driving. There’s nothing wrong with taking a drink of water or eating a snack while you’re attempting to drive, but keep in mind that these seemingly harmless objects can become massive distractions. For instance, if you spill a hot drink on yourself while driving, then it could cause you to swerve into another lane of traffic. You might also be reaching around your car for snacks and accidentally hit something else.
4. Events Outside of the Vehicle
Another leading cause of distractions is events that happen outside of the vehicle that draw a driver’s attention away from the road. Accident scenes, for instance, commonly cause drivers to take their focus away from the road. Other external distractions might include flashy business signs, confusing construction or detour signs, or even pedestrians who are near the road.
Georgia’s Hands-Free Law: What You Need to Know
Under Georgia’s Hands-Free Law, it’s considered a traffic violation to have a cell phone in your hand or touching your body while talking on the phone while driving. Drivers can use hands-free technology to chat while driving, but they shouldn’t utilize this technology for texting. Drivers are also prohibited from watching videos, recording videos, or utilizing streaming devices that require the user to touch their phones to activate it or continue to use it.
Violating this law can lead to a $50 fine and one point on your license for the first offense and more severe penalties for repeated violations. It can also leave the driver open to civil lawsuits if their behavior leads to a crash.
What Should I Do if a Distracted Driver Hits Me?
Have you recently been involved in an accident? Do you believe that distracted driving may have played a major role in the incident? If so, then there are specific steps you should take to protect your physical wellbeing and your rights moving forward. Here’s how to handle your situation if you get hit by a distracted driver in Georgia:
1. Call the Police
First, call the police. If you or someone else is experiencing a serious injury, then call 911. Otherwise, you should still call the non-emergency local police line to have the authorities respond to the scene. Involving the police is important because they’ll help assist anyone who is injured, document what happened in an official police report, and help clear the accident scene.
2. Document the Scene
If you’re able to, then consider documenting the scene of the accident while you wait for the police to arrive. Take photographs of your car, the other vehicle, and anything else that you think might be used as evidence later. If you see nearby cameras, then consider asking for the footage. Ask any nearby witnesses for their contact information, and ask them to stay to talk to the police.
3. Get Medical Care ASAP
Next, get a full medical checkup as soon as possible, even if you don’t think your injuries are serious enough to warrant a trip to the hospital via ambulance. Getting timely medical treatment will help you avoid any problems with a future claim for compensation through an insurance company or a personal injury claim.
4. Keep a Record of Your Losses
As you seek out medical care, be sure to keep a copy of your medical bills and any diagnosis. From there, you’ll want to start keeping a record of all your losses associated with the accident. Some collisions, like pedestrian accidents or fatal accidents in Georgia, can lead to very significant losses. From property damage repair bills to expenses associated with a burial, keep documents that prove all of your losses.
5. Learn More About Your Options for Financial Recovery
If you determine that your losses are adding up, then it’s time to start researching your options for financial recovery. Depending on what happened, you may be able to seek compensation from either your insurance company, the other driver’s insurance policy, or through a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent driver. A lawyer can help you identify your options and best path forward.
Are You Ready to Get in Touch with a Car Accident Lawyer?
Most distracted driving accidents in Georgia result in substantial losses. From property damage to medical bills to lost wages, you don’t need to bear those expenses all on your own if you believe someone else’s distracted driving behavior caused your crash.
Here at Singleton Law Firm, we’d love to hear more about your accident, the extent of your losses, and how your accident has impacted your life. Equipped with that information, we’ll help you determine if seeking out a claim for compensation is in your best interests. Are you ready to get started?
Schedule a free consultation with our team of legal representatives now to learn more about your legal options for compensation.