Prohibition On Texting and Driving in Georgia
There are many ways that people get distracted while driving, from talking on their cell phones, the dealing with disciplining kids, or even focusing too much on the lyrics of a song on the radio than the road. But the distraction that has proved to be the most damaging is texting and driving.
Drivers are 23 times more likely to get into an accident if they are engaged in electronic text communications while they are driving. Because of this, the state of Georgia prohibits all drivers from texting and related behaviors while they are driving. This includes looking a the web, using a personal digital assistant, a computer or their phone to read or write text data while they are driving. It also applies to instant messaging, email, or other Internet data. For those whose driving carries an additional risk or responsibility, bus drivers or drivers under 18, cell phone conversations are forbidden as well — even on a hands free devise.
Georgia’s texting law is a “primary” traffic law. The police are justified in pulling over any vehicle where they suspect the driver is sending text messages, even if they are doing nothing else wrong. A secondary traffic law is one that can only be enforced if there is suspicion of some other violation as well.
Despite the prohibition of texting while driving, there are still a good deal of Georgia residents who text on an occasional or frequent basis while driving. They may try to limit their texts to stoplights, or they may think it’s ok to just read a message, but things can get out of hand quickly. If they are moving at a typical highway speed they will travel the length of a football field with their eyes off the road. This behavior can lead to an accident where someone gets hurt, no matter how experienced the driver is. If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a driver who was texting, it is important to speak with a car accident lawyer in Kennesaw or Acworth as soon as possible in order to see how the circumstances of your accident might affect any potential financial settlement you should receive.
Although texting and driving is addressed under the criminal system, criminal consequences are not sufficient when someone has been injured. The texting violation by itself will only yield a fine of $150, which goes into the system, not in the victim’s pocket. For your own justice, you need a lawyer on your side looking out for your best interests. This is exactly what you’ll get when you turn to the Law Offices of Roger Ghai for your car accident case in Kennesaw. Whatever insurance company that is involved, whether it is your own policy or that of the driver who caused the accident, is designed to save money for the company, which means offering settlements as low as their clients will take. An immediate check in your hand can be enticing, but no claim check should be cashed without talking to a lawyer in Kennesaw first.
Roger Ghai of the Law Offices of Roger Ghai has been practicing law since 1989, and has extensive experience in handling all sorts of personal injury cases, including car accidents caused by distracted drivers. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, you need every advantage you can get. Call our office at the Law Offices of Roger Ghai at 770-792-1000 to find out how we can help.
For a free legal consultation with a texting and driving accidents lawyer serving Kennesaw, call (770) 792-1000
Kennesaw Texting and Driving Accident Lawyer Near Me (770) 792-1000
SnapChatting and Other Dangerous Driving in Kennesaw
Here in Cobb County, in 2015, there were 34,985 traffic crashes causing 8,470 injuries and 59 fatalities. See statistics here. The numbers for 2016 through 2018 are not yet available but are estimated to be slightly higher. There are many causes of traffic accidents. But one of the more worrisome causes is the use of reckless and dangerous phone applications — by young drivers, in particular. Here are some sobering stories and statistics and some information about Georgia negligence law.
Dangerous Driving In Kennesaw — Sobering Stories
Last year, a Georgia motorist was clocked via police radar going 112 miles per hour driving through Alpharetta. When the Georgia State Patrol finally pulled him over, the driver admitted that he was going over 100 mph and then, according to the news reports, claimed that he was speeding so he could take video using the snapchat application on his phone. Snapchat had a filter that allowed users to record their speed of travel. As the title of the article says, he “did it for snapchat.” The driver was ticketed for speeding and using a phone/text device while driving. The driver is fortunate that no crash or wreck occurred (see the stories below). The described behavior is the very definition of reckless driving and reckless endangerment (if an injury or fatality had occurred).
Sadly, this is not the only example of snapchatting and livestreaming while driving in Georgia. In 2015, an 18-year-old teen was driving her father’s Mercedes when she decided to use snapchat to see how fast she could drive. The young adult reached 113 miles per hour on a suburban road near before she crashed into another car at 107 miles per hour. See Washington Post report here. The victim suffered a traumatic brain injury.
In yet another example, in California, a young woman recently killed her sister while livestreaming and driving. She was livestreaming herself performing a song. As described in the news article, she could be seen on the video making a dramatic gesture with her hand and arm as part of her musical performance and then losing control of the car. Her younger sister was thrown from the car during the crash and was killed.
Yet another young woman in the Czech Republic was engaged in livestreaming and killed herself — all recorded and uploaded to her facebook account. She was speeding and crashed into a guardrail/barrier. See report here.
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Dangerous Driving In Kennesaw — Sobering Statistics
Over the last few years, there has been a marked rise in the crashes involving distracted drivers. Some studies have suggested that texting and phone use is the cause. According to a study conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Students Against Destructive Decisions (“SADD”), 27 percent of teens admit to texting while driving and a full 68 percent — over two-thirds — of teens report using phone apps while driving. See here.
Another study conducted by AT&T showed that, among drivers of all ages, drivers admitted to the using their smartphone while driving to do the following:
- Texting — 61 percent admitted to engaging in this activity
- Reading and sending emails (33 percent)
- Surfing the net (28 percent)
- Reading and posting to Facebook (27 percent)
- Snapping a selfie/photo (17 percent)
- Reading and posting to twitter (14 percent)
- Viewing and posting to instagram (14 percent)
- Shooting a video (12 percent)
- Using snapchat (11 percent)
- Engaging in a video chat (10 percent)
The anecdotal evidence confirms these statistics. As reported by the news article linked above, the young woman that killed her sister while driving and livestreaming admitted she had often engaged in similar livestreaming behavior and that the same was true for her friends. “We do it all the time,” she is reported to have said. “Trust me, it’s like a reflex. Like I haven’t crashed, you know? Everybody does it. Everybody does it. They take snapchats. Everybody does it. Why not? People take video of them in cars like all the time.”
Dangerous Driving in Kennesaw — Suing If You Have Been Injured: Legal Principles
If you or a family member are injured in a wreck because some other driver has been engaged in these types of dangerous and reckless behaviors, you can sue to recover money damages for your injuries and for damage to your vehicle. You will need skilled and experienced Kennesaw personal injuries and auto accident attorneys like the ones at the Roger Ghai Law Offices.
In general, collisions and wreck are governed by negligence law. To recover negligence, a victim must prove the standard four elements: duty, breach, causation and damage. Every driver in Kennesaw owes every other driver and person using the roads and highways the duty to exercise “ordinary care.” See the Georgia general tort statute, OCGA § 51-1-2.
At minimum, this means that a driver must be reasonably watchful for other vehicles, pedestrians and others using the roads. Importantly, the duty of ordinary care means that a driver must NOT engage in distracting activities like livestreaming, watching videos, sending texts and the like.
If a driver engages in those types of reckless behaviors, then the driver has breached his or her duty. If injury is caused as a result of the breach of duty, then he or she is liable for negligence. If you — the victim — are able to prove your case, under Georgia law, you are entitled to recover for every type of compensation that applies to you including pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, property damage and more.
Kennesaw Auto Accidents Lawyers: Contact the Roger Ghai Law Offices
If you have been injured in a wreck where you suspect the other driver was livestreaming or engaged in some other dangerous distracting activity, contact the Kennesaw accident and personal injury attorneys at the Roger Ghai Law Offices. We provide legal services for the residents of Cobb County including the communities of Kennesaw, Acworth, Marietta and the surrounding areas. Click here to schedule your consultation.