Distracted driving is a notable cause of traffic crashes, especially among younger drivers. Driver distractions can take many shapes and is of different types. Such distractions can lead to accidents ranging from mild to fatal. If you have suffered injuries and other losses as a victim of such a crash in Augusta, GA, you can seek damages with the help of an Augusta car accident lawyer.
In 2012 alone, distracted driving accounted for 3,328 traffic deaths countrywide, as per the figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Total injuries caused by distracted driving accidents were above 400,000. Different states have laws in place which prohibit drivers from indulging in any activities which may constitute a distraction during driving. Here is a look at how distracted driving is defined, its many types, and the relevant Georgia laws.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is a broad term that applies to virtually any activity that may draw your attention away from the road. When you engage in such an activity, it diverts your attention. As a result, you may not be able to spot a vehicle, pedestrian, pole, or another object up ahead. Examples of distracted driving activities include using a mobile phone to text, take a call, or perform any other task, eating or drinking, and adjusting the radio or any other gadget in the car.
Types of Driving Distractions
Driving distractions are typically categorized into four types:
This type of distraction causes the driver of the vehicle to take eyes off the roadway and look elsewhere. For instance, the driver may stop looking at the road and instead look at the face of the passenger sitting next to him.
A physical distraction is when a driver is physically involved in doing something that is not related to driving. For instance, if the driver is eating something, adjusting the hair, typing a text message, or tinkering with the audio, these all constitute physical distractions.
An audio distraction is when an auditory disturbance diverts the driver’s attention. Such a disturbance can be a phone call, loud music blaring on the vehicle’s speakers, or even loud conversation taking place within the vehicle.
Cognitive distractions typically pertain to the mental activity and presence of a driver. When a driver is stressed and thinking about problems like personal relationships or finances, this may cause lapses of judgment in driving. Such lapses can result in serious accidents.
Distracted Driving Laws in Georgia
Georgia has a number of laws in place which are meant to discourage distracted driving. Most of these are defined in Georgia Code Section 40-6-241. Here is a look at these laws.
- Under-18 drivers and school bus drivers are not allowed to use mobile phones while driving.
- Commercial drivers are prohibited from using any communication device in such a way that it may force them to change their seated position. At most, commercial drivers can use a single button on an easily accessible device to take and make calls.
- As per Georgia laws, you are not legally allowed to read, write or send a text message while driving. This restriction applies to any and all types of messages, including Whatsapp messages. You are also barred from sending similar messages via another electronic device such as a tablet or a laptop.
- You can’t hold a cellphone or electronic device while driving. Electronic devices included in this category include tablets, laptops, GPS receivers, messaging devices, and more. Devices that can store audio and video data are also included in this category.
- It is permitted for a driver to use an electronic device with the help of hands-free technology. In other words, you can use earphones, ear pods, and other such accessories to answer a phone call.
- Georgia laws also prohibit drivers from using the devices listed above to watch a video while driving. The passengers in the vehicle can watch the video but the driver must not do so or this creates a distracted driving condition.
Why Hire an Augusta Car Accident Lawyer?
When you suffer injuries in a crash caused by another driver, you are required to prove the fault of the driver. In distracted driving accidents, this involves showing that the other driver was distracted at the time the crash occurred. Here at Ted Greve & Associates, we help you prove this point and seek the compensatory damages that you deserve. Contact us today to discuss your case in detail with our lawyers.