Distracted Driving Wrecks

texing and driving

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The problem of distracted driving has become more prominent in recent years, primarily because of new technology. Distracted driving, as the name suggests, is anything that distracts a driver from the primary task of driving safely.  It can involve any of the following:

  • Texting
  • Using a cell phone or smartphone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

Whatever the form, distracted driving can result in an increased chance of having a car wreck. According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, a 2006 study concluded that about 80% of crashes were caused by some form of distraction occurring within three seconds of the wreck.

texing and driving laws chart

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Georgia law already provides that every “driver shall exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state and shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle.”  O.C.G.A. 40-6-241.  However, new laws were passed, effective July 1, 2010, that prohibit the use of cell phones (including talking) for persons under 18 who have a Class D license (O.C.G.A. 40-6-241.1) and that prohibit the use of cell phones for text-based and email communications for persons over 18 who have a Class C license (O.C.G.A. 40-6-241.2).

Some news sources have reported that these new anti-cell phone while driving laws are rarely enforced, but it is still the law in the state of Georgia.  A failure to abide by the law can result in criminal charges and the basis for a negligence claim against a “distracted” driver.

If you have been injured in an auto wreck because of distracted driving and you need a Waycross personal injury attorney or Blackshear personal injury attorney, please contact our firm for a free consultation at (912) 449-3000.

(Sources:  Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety; U.S. Government Website for Distracted Driving)