Overview of Georgia Distracted Driving Laws
From smartphones and fast food to driving drowsy and chugging coffee, there are plenty of distractions to keep Georgia drivers from focusing on the road in today’s fast-paced environment. National data has consistently proven that distracted driving is a key contributor to car accidents, both fatal and nonfatal.
Types of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes your attention away from the road while driving. There are three main types of distracted driving as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): visual, manual, and cognitive. Visual and manual are the two most common types of distracted driving.
Visual distracted driving involves the driver taking his or her eyes off of the road, while manual involves taking the hands off the wheel. Using navigation systems or cell phones is the quickest way to become distracted while driving, even though texting and driving in the state of Georgia is strictly prohibited.
The third type of distracted driving (cognitive) is also involved in texting and driving, since the driver has to focus his or her mental attention on the message instead of the roadway. Other activities that engage one or more of the three types of distracted driving include:
- Reading (i.e., roadmaps)
- Eating or drinking
- Watching a video
- Talking to passengers
- Adjusting the radio
- Personal grooming
- Using electronic devices
Georgia Distracted Driving Laws
The state of Georgia abides by strict texting laws, which prohibit all forms of texting while driving as well as any cell phone use for teen drivers. Taking your eyes off the road, even for an instant, can have devastating consequences. At 55 mph, looking at your phone for 4.6 seconds is the equivalent of driving across an entire football field with your eyes closed.
In this amount of time, a pedestrian could use a crosswalk, a child can run into the road from behind a parked car, the vehicle in front of you can hit its brakes – any number of changes can occur on the road, and you won’t be paying enough attention to stop your car in time.
The number of distracted-driving pedestrian deaths in 2013 amounted to the equivalent of one crash-related pedestrian death every two hours (4,735 people). More than 150,000 pedestrians were injured due to distracted drivers in the same year, amounting to injuries serious enough to be admitted to the emergency room.
If you get convicted of killing a pedestrian while driving distracted in Georgia, the consequences are severe. You’ll most likely face a wrongful death lawsuit and have to defend your actions in front of a jury and the family of the pedestrian you killed. Your negligence in causing the accident will need to be established, and you’ll have to compensate the family and serve potential jail time depending on the situation.
The devastating knowledge that you caused death or injury to an innocent pedestrian in exchange for a single text message, phone call, or other distraction is far worse than these legal repercussions. Once you’ve caused an accident driving distracted, you can never take it back.
Get Help with Your Distracted Driving Accident
If you’ve been involved in a car accident or pedestrian accident that was caused or made worse by distracted driving, contact us so we can help argue your case in a court of law. Car accidents can have serious consequences for each party involved. Don’t let bad representation make your situation even worse. If you or a loved one was killed by a distracted driver, you have rights to compensation.
Our caring and compassionate Savannah car accident attorneys have extensive experience in handling car accident cases in Georgia, and we know what’s best for our clients. Trust your case to the capable hands of a personal injury attorney at Roden Law and discover the difference a competent and dependable attorney can make.