Earlier last week in Rome, Georgia, a tragic accident occurred, taking the life of a 7-year-old girl. According to a report by Online Athens, the girl’s mother was driving with her and her 3-year-old brother when the little girl dropped something, and the mother reached down to pick it up. As she did so, she lost control of the car and swerved off the road and into a utility pole. The young girl was tragically killed in the accident, and her mother and brother were taken to the hospital in stable condition.
Distracted Driving Deaths Are on the Rise Nationwide
With the increase prevalence of cell phones, GPS systems, on-board entertainment, and the like, more and more drivers are getting into preventable accidents due to distracted driving. Distracted driving is a fairly broad term that has come to encompass a wide range of conduct, including:
- Driving while talking on the phone or texting;
- Driving while grooming (shaving, painting nails, applying make-up, etc.);
- Driving while reading;
- Driving while eating or drinking;
- Driving while talking to a passenger or child in the back seat;
- Daydreaming; and
- Controlling the radio, GPS, or other on-board mechanical function.
As you can see, the list could go on and on. Anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road—where it should be—and focuses it elsewhere can cause distracted driving.
States across the county, including Georgia, have begun cracking down on distracted driving. For example, a few years ago Georgia implemented a total texting ban for all drivers. In addition, minors under the age of 18 are not permitted to use their cell phone at all while driving. Those who violate this law are subject to penalties that can add up to a significant amount, especially for subsequent offenses.
What is perhaps more important than the penalties imposed by the new law is the standard of care that it establishes for all drivers. In other words, the new law sets up a baseline for safe driving expectations in Georgia. Therefore, if a driver causes an accident while texting, it is easier for the accident victim to prove that the driver was negligent if he or she was texting when the accident occurred because the law prohibits the conduct.
Have You Been Injured by a Distracted Driver?
If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of a distracted driving accident recently, you should speak with an experienced Georgia personal injury attorney to determine the strength of your case. It is often difficult to determine if a driver was in fact distracted without conducting an in-depth investigation into the facts surrounding the case. This may mean subpoenaing cell phone records to determine if the other driver was on the phone or texting at the time of the accident. To learn more about the laws in Georgia that allow for victims of distracted driving accidents to recover, click here or call 770-284-3727 today to schedule your free initial consultation.