Most people live on their phones nowadays and it can be hard to put these devices away when people get into their cars. It is consistently tempting to read work emails, return your mother’s call, or text friends while you are commuting to or from work or running errands. Technology has made it too easy to pick up the phone, tap a screen of a few times, and connect with someone else. But the technology that is connecting so many people around the world is creating a hazard on our streets. People who talk and text on their cell phones are distracted drivers and have a much higher chance of causing a car accident. If you were in a crash caused by a distracted driver on his or her phone, contact the Atlanta auto accident lawyers at Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A. to learn about your rights.
Cell Phones Are a Major Distraction
It is difficult to gather entirely accurate statistics regarding cell phone-related crashes and fatalities, but authorities are well aware that thousands of drivers die in crashes because of cell phone use every year. Distraction.gov reports that in 2014, 3,179 people died because of distracted drivers and 431,000 were injured. Many of these distracted drivers were on their phones.
A Pew Research Center study published in 2010 found 47 percent of adults texted and read or sent a text message while driving, and about 75 percent of adults who owned a cell phone admitted to talking on that cell while they drove. If the number of adults who text or talk on their phones while driving is anywhere near the same as it was a few years ago, there are far too many people on their phones while on the road.
Cell phones are always a significant distraction, whether someone’s texting, talking, reading, or playing a game. The simplicity of using a mobile phone in combination with people believing they are capable of multitasking leads too many drivers to pick up their phones when they are behind the wheel and should be paying attention to the road. Doing this takes a person’s eyes off the roads, their hands off the steering wheel, and their minds off of driving.
Georgia Cell Phone Laws
States quickly realized the dangers surrounding cell phone use while driving and drafted laws to increase road safety. No state has banned all cell phone use for every driver, but how and when you can use your mobile phone while driving is highly regulated.
School bus drivers and novice drivers, those generally under 18 years of age, are not allowed to use their cell phones while driving at all – hand held or hands free. This prohibits more than texting and calling. Bus drivers and teens cannot pick up their phone at a red light. They cannot check their Facebook accounts or play candy crush during a spare minute. These driver’s phones should be put away while they drive.
All drivers are prohibited from text messaging. It does not matter the driver’s age or profession, no is allowed to pick up a phone and text.
Adult drivers are allowed to use hands-free devices to make calls and send messages.
What to Do if You Are in an Accident Caused by Cell Phone Use
If you are in a car accident, first and foremost focus on your safety and the well-being of others in your vehicle. Receive medical attention as soon as possible, either from emergency responders or by going to your physician or an emergency department.
But if you are in an accident and capable of getting up and walking away, and you believe the driver at fault was on his or her phone, there are some things you can do. Call the police to have a record of the accident and tell the officer what you say – including if the other driver was holding a phone. The police can further investigate what you saw and determine whether they believe the other driver was likely on his or her phone. The other driver may admit to being on his or her phone or there may be evidence of this in the car.
Call your insurance right away. You may need to make a full statement to your insurance, but you do not have to do that immediately following the accident. You can set up a time to give your statement, and when you do so, do not forget to tell your insurance about the other driver’s cell phone use.
You may also need to call the other driver’s auto insurance company to give notice that you will make a third-party claim. When you file your formal claim, you will need to show that the insurer’s client was on his or her phone. That insurance company will then conduct its own investigation into the crash.
Proving Cell Phone Use in Court
Not every car accident victim is able to settle with the insurance for a variety of reasons. Some drivers are not insured or are underinsured. Sometimes insurers will deny valid claims. Whatever the situation affecting your recovery, you may need to head to court to hold the other party responsible.
If you take the other driver to court based on a personal injury claim, your attorney will need to demonstrate that the other driver was negligent or reckless in his or her actions. Talking on a cell phone or texting is not only illegal, it demonstrates negligent driving.
However, it can be tough to prove that someone was on his or her phone at the time of the accident. If the police determined that the other driver was on his or her phone and ticketed the person for a cell phone-related offense, this is solid evidence of negligence. Without this documentation, your attorney may need to use other evidence related to the crash like witness testimony and photos from nearby security or surveillance cameras.
Contact an Atlanta Auto Accident Lawyer Today
If you were involved in car crash and need help recovering from your physical, emotional, and financial injuries, call the skilled car wreck attorneys in Atlanta at Ted A. Greve & Associates, P.A. for help. They understand how difficult of a time this can be for people who simply want to get back behind the wheel on with their lives. With more than 20 years of experience handling auto accident and personal injury cases, these lawyers know how to build a strong case in court in order to get you a beneficial outcome.