Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving is a widespread trend on America’s highways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), 3,328 people were killed in distracted driving car crashes in 2012. The NHSTA also reports that 71 percent of teens and young people admit to composing or sending a text message while driving. Moreover, 78 percent of teens and young people say they have read a text message while driving. In an effort to raise awareness and combat distracted driving, the US government even launched a national enforcement and advertising campaign known as Distraction.gov.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted motorist, Georgia car accident lawyer Norman Miller can help. At Miller Legal Services, we are committed to providing our clients with high quality representation to get them the compensation they deserve.What is Distracted Driving?
Although we usually think of cell phones and text messages when we think about distracted driving, there are many ways in which a driver can be distracted and lose focus.
The NHSTA defines three types of distracted driving:
- Visual: the driver’s eyes are not focused on the road.
- Manual: the driver’s hands are not on the steering wheel.
- Cognitive: the driver’s mind is elsewhere and not focused on the road.
In sum, anything that detracts from the driver’s attention and from his ability to drive safely is considered a distraction. Distractions come in many forms and can vary depending on the situation. However, some of the most common distractions are:
- Texting while driving
- Dialing a phone number or talking on the phone
- Tampering with the GPS
- Adjusting the radio or music player in the car
- Focusing on passengers or pets inside the vehicle
- Lighting a cigarette or smoking
- Eating and drinking
- Picking up an object that has fallen on the floor
- Rubbernecking or slowing down to look at someone outside of the car
As illustrated by the examples above, many accidents occur when a driver is trying to multitask.Distracted Driving Laws in Georgia
All motorists in this state are prohibited from texting while driving. This behavior is considered a primary offense, which means that a police officer can pull over and ticket the driver for that offense alone without another violation taking place. There is a complete ban on all cell phone use, including hands-free devices, for both bus drivers and novice drivers. Drivers over the age of 18, however, are permitted to use cell phones while driving.
Although it is not illegal for most adults to use cell phones while driving, a motorist who causes an accident because he was carelessly texting while driving still can be liable for the car crash under the theory of negligence. A driver can be found to have acted negligently if he fails to exercise reasonable care while driving, which is defined as the manner in which a reasonably prudent person would act under similar circumstances.
There are two types of negligence: civil negligence and criminal negligence. In the civil negligence context, the victim needs to show that the driver’s carelessness caused the accident and subsequent injury. In a criminal negligence case, the victim needs to show that the driver acted in an extremely reckless manner. For example, a driver might be criminally negligent if he or she intentionally speeds while texting, runs a stop sign, and hits a pedestrian. In other words, the degree of negligence required in a criminal suit is much higher than for a civil suit.What Damages Can You Receive?
If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of someone’s distracted driving, you may be entitled to compensation. Under Georgia law, the party who caused the accident can be held liable for property damage, medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other costs associated with the accident. In accidents when the victim is killed, the victim’s family members may be entitled to pursue a wrongful death claim for compensation.Contact a Distracted Driving Lawyer in Roswell Today
Carelessness while driving is an irresponsible and dangerous decision. At Miller Legal Services, we are committed to holding distracted motorists responsible for their actions. Whether you’ve been injured or sustained property damages, auto accident attorney Norman Miller work diligently to provide you with the representation you deserve in Marietta and the surrounding communities. Call us at 770-284-3727 or contact us online for a free case evaluation today.