We all know that it is dangerous to text and drive. Despite this knowledge, many still choose to use their cell phones when behind the wheel. Here is an overview of why texting and driving is a act that you should never perform, no matter how tempting it may be.
Texting Is a Big Distraction
Beyond the extra dexterity required to manipulate your phone while simultaneously driving a vehicle, texting while driving is just a plain old bad idea, and is a major mental distraction. Even if you had three hands, the attention required to read, think, and write text messages while driving is dangerous. Any extra activities while driving can take attention away from the road. And when attention is taken away from the road, accidents become much more likely.
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Georgia’s Law On Texting and Driving
It is with this threat in mind that Georgia enacted a law that if you are caught texting and driving, you can have one point assessed to your license and fines of $150. So not only is texting dangerous, but it can result in harsh penalties to.
The Dangers of Driving While Texting
Beyond the normal penalties, texting and driving can lead to accidents, and Atlanta has its fair share of texting drivers. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia has provided facts concerning the prevalence of cell phone use while driving. Atlanta has been ranked as the sixth least courtesy city in the U.S., and 35 percent of drivers have admitted to talking on their cell phones while driving. In another study, 37 percent of drivers in Georgia admitted to texting while driving.
Even outside the region, the National Safety Council estimates that one in four accidents is caused by the use of a cell phone.
Fault and Cell Phone Use
Based on the data above, it is not unreasonable to assume that a cell phone use may have been involved when an accident occurs. While this can be extremely unfortunate, the use of a cellphone can help to place fault on one party. When one party is texting, investigators will often take note and place fault on that party due to the distraction. It is important to note that fault will often land on a texting party, even if they are not truly the cause of the accident. This is because many states have laws against this behavior.
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The Clean Hands Doctrine
This law is sometimes referred to as the “clean hands doctrine.” The clean hands doctrine simply means that in order to receive the benefit of some laws, you must not be engaged in an illegal activity at the time. In these cases, texting is breaking a law, and as such will cause fault to be given, even if it is inaccurate. The clean hands doctrine does have its limits however, say when one party runs a red light and hits a stopped car and the driver of the stopped car happened to be using their phone. This is a case where the texting will probably not be a factor, but it is a good rule of thumb to totally avoid texting while behind the wheel.
When You Need Legal Counsel
All that in mind, the other critical thing is to contact the Law Offices of Roger Ghai, P.C. if you have any questions or have had an accident and need help. Remember to contact our law office before contacting your insurance company to ensure that you are properly informed and make sure you get the most from the coverage you have.