Distracted driving has emerged as a significant concern on roads worldwide, posing a serious threat to the safety of motorists, pedestrians, and passengers.
Every year, 2.5 million car crashes occur due to distracted driving globally. In the United States, 8 people die every day due to car crashes involving a distracted driver.
The state of Georgia is also dealing with the pressing issue of distracted driving.
This article aims to shed light on the hidden dangers of distracted driving in Georgia. We also highlight the importance of hiring a Georgia car accident lawyer in case you are involved in a distracted driving car crash.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving refers to any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the primary task of operating a vehicle safely. These distractions can be categorized into three main types:
- Visual – take the driver’s eyes off the road
- Manual – involves taking the hands off the wheel
- Cognitive – diverts the driver’s focus and attention away from driving
Distracted drivers are unable to drive at their peak condition, and this can result in a potential car crash or collision. No matter if you have been driving for decades, you still need to avoid all sources of distracted driving.
Here are some types of distracted driving as iterated by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Georgia.
- Sending/reading e-mails
- Posting on social media
- Talking on a cell phone/smartphone
- Eating and drinking
- Adjusting the radio, CD player, or digital media device
- Talking to passengers
- Grooming (combing hair, putting on make-up, etc.)
- Reading (including maps)
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
Read up on some of this in detail below.
Cell Phone Usage
The use of cell phones, particularly for texting, talking, or browsing social media, is a significant contributor to distracted driving. The temptation to stay connected and engaged with digital devices often leads drivers to take their eyes off the road.
This can impair their ability to react to potential hazards.
No matter what, do not look at your cell phone or other devices while driving. There is no excuse for such behavior. Hire a Georgia car accident lawyer if you have been caught in a distracted driving case.
Modern vehicles are equipped with an array of in-car technologies. These include:
- Navigation systems
- Entertainment systems
- Voice-activated controls
While these technologies offer convenience, they also pose distractions that can compromise driving safety by increasing reaction times. These technologies come with warnings not to use them while driving, but very few drivers pay attention to such admonitions.
Eating and Drinking
Consuming food or beverages while driving may seem harmless. But it can divert attention and compromise a driver’s ability to maneuver the vehicle safely.
Actions such as unwrapping food, reaching for items, or spills can result in accidents. Safe driving means not letting yourself get distracted by such behavior.
Wait until you are parked in a safe area or at your home or office to start consuming food and beverages. Even a simple act of drinking water can result in compromised driving safety.
Engaging in activities such as grooming, reading, or adjusting the radio or climate controls while driving can divert a driver’s attention. This increases the risk of accidents.
Safe driving means focusing your attention entirely on the act of driving. Putting on mascara or lipstick isn’t included in that.
Georgia Laws for Distracted Drivers
Distracted driving contributes to a significant number of accidents and fatalities in Georgia. Nearly 500 people were killed in car crashes in Georgia in 2022100 more than in 2021. This is becoming almost as serious an issue as DUI driving.
Among all distraction-related motor vehicle traffic crashes, 57 percent occurred within the Atlanta Region (compared to 55 percent of all crashes that occurred in the Atlanta Region).
Georgia has implemented laws and regulations to combat distracted driving. In Georgia, it is illegal for drivers to use a handheld electronic device while operating a motor vehicle. That is, Georgia is a hands-free state.
House Bill 673, also known as the Hands-Free Law, was passed by the Georgia General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Nathan Deal. It took effect on July 1st, 2018.
Violators could face fines, license suspensions, and increased insurance rates. Repeat offenders may face more severe penalties.
- First conviction: $50, one point on a license
- Second conviction: $100, two points on a license
- Third and subsequent convictions: $150, three points on a license
Car Accident in Georgia Carries a Financial Burden
Distracted driving accidents can have significant financial implications for both the driver responsible and the victims. Medical expenses, property damage, legal fees, and increased insurance premiums can impose a heavy burden on individuals involved in distracted driving incidents.
That’s why you need to hire an Atlanta car accident lawyer as soon as you get caught in a car accident in Georgia due to distracted driving. Traffic laws aren’t followed as vehemently by drivers as they should. Distracted drivers are on the rise.
You must protect yourself and your family from such traffic laws violations. This will ensure you get the fair compensation that your loved ones deserve for someone else’s distractedness.
Hire a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer
Now that you know the dire consequences of being caught around distracted drivers, you need to be extra careful from now onwards. It’s no longer a joke.
Speaking on your phone or even fiddling around with the radio could cost you big. Hire a Georgia car accident lawyer as soon as you are involved in any kind of car accident, be it related to distracted drivers or not.
Georgia laws are very clear on the matter of distracted driving. Don’t get caught in the crossfire. We are an Atlanta car accident lawyer practice ready to help you, so contact us today.