People multitask every day without giving it a second thought. They reply to an email while talking to a co-worker, or talk to the kids while cooking dinner, and sometimes they’ll try to glance at a text while driving. Unfortunately, multitasking while driving can kill. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that in 2018 alone, distracted driving accidents cost 2,841 people their lives. It is, by far, becoming one of the most dangerous and risky behaviors on our roads today.
Distracted driving is reckless behavior – a few seconds of distraction can lead to an accident with devastating consequences. If you’ve been the victim of a distracted driver, not only has your health been jeopardized, but your financial stability may be put at risk as well. Serious and life-threatening injuries mean countless medical bills you may not be prepared for and lifestyle changes that you could never have anticipated.
Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. knows what it takes to hold distracted drivers accountable and make sure you get the compensation you need to make you whole again. If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, you have the right to speak with an attorney about your situation. Before you settle with an insurance company, talk to Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. about the circumstances of your accident. We even offer a free case evaluation. Contact our office today at (855) 465-4407 to get started on your path to justice.
What Is Considered Distracted Driving?
The term “distracted driving” is most often associated with driving while operating a phone or mobile device. However, distracted driving is a broad term that may refer to any type of behavior where a driver’s eyes and attention are taken off the road and the operation of a vehicle and put onto another task. Distracted driving can include anything from talking or texting on the phone to eating, drinking, grooming, entering information into a navigation system, or playing loud music or changing the radio station. Safe driving means that a driver’s attention is on the operation of the vehicle, not on surrounding distractions.
How detrimental is being distracted for just a few seconds? Consider this example from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: If you take your eyes off the road for only five seconds to read a text message, at 55 mph, it is the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. It is a sobering reminder that in a short amount of time people’s lives may forever be changed.
Types of Distracted Driving
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that at least nine people are killed in the U.S. every day by a distracted driver. While there are numerous distractions that may take a driver’s full attention away from the road, the CDC breaks down the types of distractions into three main categories. They are:
- Visual distractions: Visual distractions take a driver’s eyes off the road, forcing them to pay attention to something other than the direction that they are traveling in. Examples of visual distractions include mobile devices, watching a distracting passenger, navigational systems, and even staring too long at an accident on the road.
- Manual distractions: Manual distractions include any type of activity that takes a driver’s hands away from the wheel of the vehicle. These distractions may be operating or texting on a mobile device, grooming or applying makeup, eating, and drinking. If a driver’s hands are not on the wheel, they are not in complete control of the vehicle and cannot properly react to potential hazards.
- Cognitive distractions: Cognitive distractions are much more subtle in nature and can sneak up on a driver. Ever get from point A to point B and don’t remember how you did it? That may be an example of cognitive distraction. You are so familiar with your route that your mind wanders and you operate on a kind of “auto-pilot.” Daydreaming is another example of cognitive distraction.
Any form of distraction while driving can be a recipe for disaster. When your mind is not completely focused on the task at hand, safely operating a vehicle, then you are not as readily able to react to new and changing situations on the road.
Common Injuries in Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving changes a driver’s ability to both mentally and physically react to situations that could lead to an accident. That means they may not be able to slow down in time to avoid an accident, they may not be able to make a turn in time, or even swerve to avoid a hazard. That is why distracted driving can have such dire consequences. While even alert drivers may not be able to completely avoid an accident, they are at least able to react in a way that can mitigate the severity of an accident. That tends not to be the case in distracted driving accidents.
The consequences of a distracted driving accident can be significant. If a driver is so distracted that they don’t see the stoplight change from green to red, they may hit the vehicle in front of them at 45 mph instead of 10 mph. The extra speed makes a huge difference in the type of injuries that can result from an accident.
In general, here are some of the more common types of injures that can occur in a distracted driving accident:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Head, neck, or back injuries
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue damage
- Internal bleeding
- Chest and rib injuries
- Knee injuries
- Cuts and bruises
- Wrongful Death
Depending on the nature of your injuries, you may be stuck with piles of medical bills that could take years to fully pay off. These types of injuries can require lengthy hospital stays, surgery, follow-up visits, prescription drugs, physical therapy, and rehabilitation. In many cases, while you are trying to recover, you aren’t able to work. This creates further anxiety about how to pay the bills.
Before you accept anything that a distracted driver’s insurance company offers, talk to an experienced lawyer. Their offer may not be enough to cover all of your current and future damages, and once you sign on the dotted line, you are giving up all of your legal rights to full compensation. Contact Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. to review your rights and legal options first. We can help you decide how to proceed in order to get the maximum compensation you deserve.
Georgia’s Law on Distracted Driving
Not only is distracted driving dangerous and risky behavior on the road, but it is also unlawful in the state of Georgia. Georgia has laws on the books that make it illegal for all motorists to write, send, or read text messages, instant messages, and email while operating a vehicle. It also prohibits drivers from watching videos or recording videos while on the road. In fact, the law restricts drivers from even physically holding or supporting devices with any part of their body while operating a car or truck.
Penalties for breaking distracted driving laws can range from a variety of fines and demerit points on a driver’s license. Depending on the circumstances, distracted driving may also result in a reckless driving conviction, and possibly a vehicular homicide charge if a person is killed in an accident by a distracted driver.
Due to the fact that there are laws governing distracted driving, a driver may not want to own up to the fact that their behavior contributed to causing an accident. That may impact what their insurance company is willing to provide in the way of compensation following an accident. Making sure that you have a lawyer following a distracted driving accident means that important evidence and information can be obtained and secured, strengthening your case for fair compensation.
Do not rely on someone else’s insurance to tell you what your injuries are worth, make sure you have someone looking out for your best interests to help determine the value of your case.
Contact a Carrollton Area Distracted Driving Attorney Today
Being involved in a distracted driving accident is frightening. Dealing with the aftermath can be worse, as you struggle with the pain of your injuries and the anxiety of paying for bills you can’t afford. You may feel helpless to solve any of it.
That’s where Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. can help. Our legal team has the experience and knowledge that it takes to go toe to toe with distracted drivers and their insurance companies. We want to make sure that you get the compensation you deserve, not the compensation an insurance company wants to give you to make you “not their problem anymore.”
Contact Jonathan R. Brockman, P.C. today to review the circumstances of your case with a Carrollton car accident attorney. Call (770) 205-8827 for a free case evaluation. You deserve to have someone looking out for you.