Marietta Distracted Driving Attorney
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that distracted driving is responsible for more than 3,000 crashes every year. Most safety experts agree that even this number is greatly underreported. The police can test a driver for alcohol, and they can judge the speed of a car based on the force of the impact, but there is not much they can do to test for distracted driving. Determining that distracted driving was the cause of a crash is most often based on self-reporting, and many people would rather lie than admit their fault in an accident.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of car accidents in Marietta. If you’ve been injured in a crash with a distracted driver, The Strickland Firm can help you prepare and present a solid, compelling case that proves the other driver’s negligence and liability to you for your injuries. Learn more about distracted driving below, and call The Strickland Firm for a free consultation or immediate assistance if you’ve been hurt in a Marietta distracted driving car accident.
What is distracted driving?
Just about every traffic accident is the result of distracted driving, in the sense that the at-fault driver was not paying enough attention to the task of driving at the time of the crash. Still, other factors sometimes play a more dominant role, such as speeding or drunk driving, so every car accident is not attributed to distracted driving. Instead, distracted driving applies to accidents where it can be shown the crash happened because the driver’s attention was pulled away from the road. In that sense, safety experts describe three categories of distracted driving: visual distractions, manual distractions and cognitive or mental distractions.
Visual distractions – These distractions take your eyes off the road, whether to look at your phone, a map, or your notes for an upcoming meeting. Even a brief visual distraction can cause a crash. Imagine looking down at your phone to read a quick text for five seconds while driving on the freeway. You’ve just driven the length of a football field in that time. You would never shut your eyes for five seconds while driving down a crowded highway or busy city street. Checking a text can be just as dangerous.
Manual distractions – A manual distraction is one where you take your hands off the wheel, such as to hold a phone to your head, type a text, swipe right, or change the radio station. When one or two hands are off the wheel, your ability to keep control of the car in an emergency can be severely hampered.
Mental distractions – Cognitive or mental distractions mean that your mind is taken away from the task at hand, i.e., driving. Mental distractions may be as simple as daydreaming or getting involved in a conversation with a passenger or someone on the phone, or they may be as complex as composing a text message or email. Mental distractions are not just distracting at the time. Research has shown it can take up to several minutes to get your mind back on track and paying attention to the road after being deeply involved in a conversation or completing a complex mental task.
It may have occurred to you that some tasks involve two different kinds of distractions, or all three. An example is looking into the vanity mirror to apply makeup or use an electric shaver. Typing a text is another example. The more different types of distractions involved, the more distracting and dangerous the activity.
Why are distracted driving car accidents happening more often?
Texting while driving has been illegal in Georgia since 2010; adults 18 and over are prohibited from reading, writing or sending a text or instant message behind the wheel, and drivers under 18 are forbidden to use a cell phone at all, whether hands-on or hands-free. Yet since the time these laws were passed, the number of people who own smartphones has increased dramatically. What have also grown astonishingly fast are the number and types of social media apps used on those phones, and the public’s obsession with staying connected, informed and up-to-date on whatever or whomever the person is following.
The fines for violating Georgia’s text ban are relatively small, but the consequences of a distracted driving crash are enormous. Do your best as a driver or passenger to avoid distractions during a trip, and drive defensively knowing the drivers around you may not be as careful.
Call The Strickland Firm for Help after a Marietta Distracted Driving Car Accident
If you’ve been hurt in a Marietta car accident caused by a negligent or distracted driver, call The Strickland Firm at 770-420-9900 for a free consultation with a dedicated and experienced Marietta distracted driving attorney.