The Consequences of Distracted Driving
Every year, thousands of people are injured or killed in car crashes as a result of distracted driving. This can have devastating physical, emotional, and financial consequences for innocent victims and their families, so if you live near Clayton County and were injured in a crash caused by another driver’s negligence, it is critical to contact an experienced car accident attorney who can help you seek compensation for your losses.Causes of Distracted Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are three types of distracted driving:
- Visual distractions;
- Manual distractions, which cause drivers to take their hands off of the wheel; and
- Cognitive distractions, which involve a driver failing to pay attention to surroundings or other vehicles.
Many car crashes are caused by rubbernecking, or when a driver becomes distracted by trying to see an accident on the road. This constitutes a visual distraction, while a busy parent reaching for a dropped baby bottle falls under the manual distraction category. Driving while thinking about something else can even be potentially dangerous if a driver becomes so caught up in his or her thoughts that he or she fails to focus on the road. While all three types of distracted driving are dangerous, using a cell phone can have especially devastating consequences because it involves all three types of distractions combined.
Aside from these examples there are a variety of activities that can cause a driver to become overly distracted, including:
- Eating or drinking;
- Adjusting in-vehicle technologies, such as a GPS, an ipod, or a climate control system;
- Talking to passengers;
- Listening to music too loudly;
- Caring for children or animals; and
In Georgia, drivers under the age of 18 years old are prohibited from using their cell phones for any purpose while driving. Drivers over the age of 18 years old, on the other hand, are permitted to talk on their phones, but are still barred from using them to write, send, or read any text based communication. While these laws help keep drivers focused on the road, there are additional steps that can help further prevent accidents caused by distracted driving, including:
- Safely securing children and pets before starting the car;
- Making adjustments before driving, such as starting a GPS, changing the position of mirrors, or moving the seat;
- Securely storing any loose possessions that might become dislodged and tempt the driver to reach for them;
- Ensuring that all beverages are safely stowed in cup holders;
- Asking any passengers to change the radio, GPS settings, or heating/air conditioning; and
- Scanning the road at all times and making use of both side and rear-view mirrors.
Failing to take these preventive measures can have life-threatening repercussions. Injured parties may be required to undergo multiple surgeries, participate in years of physical therapy, and pay for expensive prescription medications. These costs can quickly add up and overwhelm a victim’s finances. Fortunately, an injured party who can demonstrate that another person’s negligence was the cause of or contributed to the accident, may be able to collect compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses;
- Lost wages;
- Loss of future income;
- Property damage; and
- Pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one live in Morrow or somewhere else in Clayton County and were recently injured in a car crash, please contact The Angell Law Firm, LLC at (770) 217-4954 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney who can help explain your legal options.