Auto accident lawyers in Douglasville know that distracted driving is dangerous, claiming many lives yearly. It affects not only the driver but also other unsuspecting road users. Smartphones have made communication easy and accessible to all.
However, they pose safety risks if a driver decides to call, text, or reply to emails while driving. Also, distracted driving is not limited to the use of phones while driving. Often, motorists engage in other activities like eating, talking, drinking, grooming, adjusting radio or GPS, etc.
Unfortunately, all these activities divert one’s attention from the vital task of operating a vehicle safely. Get legal representation if you or a loved one gets injured in a distracted driving accident. Auto accident lawyers are trained to assist crash victims with getting the maximum monetary settlement from at-fault parties.
Understanding Douglasville, Georgia Distracted Driving Law
Distracted driving is a primary cause of motor vehicle accidents in Douglasville. According to Georgia law O.C.G.A. § 40-6-241, a driver shall exercise due care in operating a vehicle on the highways. They shall not engage in any actions which distract them from the safe operation of the car.
The law requires that the driver, while driving must not:
- Physically hold or support a phone with any part of their body.
- Write, send or read any text-based communication such as texts, emails, or internet data on a smartphone device.
- Watch a video or movie on a phone or stand-alone electronic device.
- Record or broadcast a video on a phone or stand-alone electronic device, etc.
Any of these activities can endanger the life of the driver, passengers, and others on the road. In addition, a conviction attracts a strict penalty, fine, license suspension, or jail term. The law protects motorists from drivers’ reckless and careless actions.
Furthermore, Georgia implemented the Hands-free law. The law requires drivers to utilize hands-free technology when using cellphones and other electronic devices while driving. This means drivers can talk on their phone but cannot hold it.
An Auto Accident Lawyer in Douglasville Explains the Component of Distracted Driving
Several components determine whether or not a driver is distracted. Law enforcement officers use these components to examine a driver’s demeanor when a car accident occurs in Douglasville.
- Cognitive State
This involves thinking about something that occupies one’s mind. It includes conversations, thinking about an argument, daydreaming, loud noises in and outside the vehicle, etc.
- Visual State
The visual state involves looking at something other than the road. For example, a driver can be distracted when looking at a phone display, a billboard, reading, typing, or looking at a person or object outside the vehicle.
- Manual State
This involves touching something within the vehicle. For example, a driver can be manually or physically distracted when holding or touching a phone, changing the radio, or controlling the vehicle’s temperature. Also, smoking, eating, grooming or personal hygiene, and adjusting other devices are examples of the manual component of distracted driving.
All these actions result in significant cognitive distraction, reduced reaction time, increased lane deviations, etc. In order words, when you are distracted, your brain and visual processing are not coordinated, which might cause severe and devastating auto crashes.
How Often Do Distracted Driving Accidents Happen?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting is the most alarming distraction for drivers. Using a device while driving increases the potential for death and fatal injuries. One cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has their full attention.
Per NHTSA, in 2020, 3,142 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Also, crash data from 2019 showed that the U.S. Department of Transportation recorded over 424,000 people suffered injuries from distracted driving. Furthermore, about one in five people who died were either walking, riding their bikes, or outside a vehicle.
If the distracted actions of a driver hurt you or a loved one, you are entitled to recover financial compensation. However, you need the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer in Douglasville to prove the at-fault party’s liability.
How Can I Protect Myself After a Douglasville Distracted Driving Auto Accident?
Auto accidents can be devasting on victims and their families. It doesn’t matter whether the accident was minor or severe. These crashes can result in expensive injuries, causing you thousands of dollars in medical care.
Thankfully, you don’t have to face the uncertainties of a crash that was not your fault alone. First, however, you must take steps to protect yourself and preserve your rights. The actions you take immediately and in the days following the crash can affect the strength of your case.
Again, you have a right to compensatory damages against the distracted driver. You can pursue a claim with their insurance company or institute a civil lawsuit in court.
Significantly, accident claims are based on factual evidence, not hearsay. Also, insurance companies are like any other business, meaning they may try to deny your claim or pay you less than you deserve. Therefore, hire a lawyer to increase your chances of securing maximum compensation.
Steps to take following a distracted driving auto collision in Douglasville include:
- Call the police and obtain an official police crash report.
- Take photos and videos of the accident scene, injuries sustained, vehicle damage, and anything that can aid your case.
- Exchange contact information with the at-fault driver and other parties involved.
- Get the contact of any person who witnessed the crash.
- Seek immediate medical help and go to all follow-up doctor’s appointments.
- Notify your insurance company about the collision.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer in Douglasville immediately.
Talk to an Auto Accident Lawyer in Douglasville for Free Today!
Distracted driving causes crashes that result in catastrophic injuries and death to innocent victims. Those who survive might have to pay expensive medical bills, lose their wages, and suffer other forms of economic loss.
Therefore, it is worth talking to a lawyer when you suffer injuries and property damage in a Douglasville distracted driving accident. A competent attorney will recover economic and non-economic damages from the negligent party. So, don’t be tempted to take on your case without legal representation.
At Hartley, Rowe & Fowler, we have years of experience representing accident victims. As a result, we can help you get maximum compensation. Thankfully, we operate on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t have to pay us until we win your case.
So reach out today to speak with our personal injury lawyer in Douglasville. Our initial consultations are free.