In the last year alone, distracted driving contributed to more than 3,000 deaths and 431,000 injuries, making it a one of the most serious problems for drivers across the country. But what is the definition of distracted driving? Anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road—such as texting while driving—can cause an accident. That’s what distracted driving means, and why it should never happen.
TYPES OF DISTRACTIONS
If you’re asking, “What is the definition of distracted driving?” then you should know that there are three primary types of distractions: cognitive, physical, and visual. Cognitive distractions make it difficult to focus on driving. For example, if a driver is worrying about a sick relative, she may not pay close attention when making turns or changing lanes. Physical distractions cause drivers to take their hands off the wheel. Looking at a cell phone, texting, putting on makeup, and changing the radio station are examples of physical distractions. Visual distractions cause drivers to take their eyes off the road. A driver taking his eyes off the road to look at a different accident is an example of a visual distraction.
GEORGIA LAWS ON TEXTING WHILE DRIVING
In Georgia, texting while driving is illegal. The use of a cell phone is legal, although school bus drivers and drivers under the age of 18 are banned from using cell phones while driving. O.C.G.A. § 40-6- 241.2. Georgia also prohibits drivers from engaging in any action that distracts from the safe operation of a car. Any of the following can distract drivers and increase the risk for crashes:
Watching movies on portable DVD players or tablets
Sending emails from a cell phone
Entering an address into a GPS
Talking on the phone
Adjusting radio settings
Reading maps or printed directions
Leaning over to pick up an object
Eating while driving
Watching children sitting in the backseat
BUILDING YOUR CASE
Something else to know, if you’re asking, “what is the definition of distracted driving?” is that it’s difficult to prove another driver was distracted at the time of a crash. You probably didn’t notice if the other driver was leaning forward, looking out the window, texting, or engaging in other unsafe behavior. Our personal injury law firm can try to determine if the other driver was distracted. Some of the things we can do to show that the driver was not paying attention at the time of the accident are:
Requesting the other driver’s cell phone records through the use of a subpoena. Using those records, we may be able to prove that the driver was on the phone or sending a text message at the time of the crash.
Interviewing witnesses to determine if anyone saw what the other driver was doing in the moments before the crash; if he was looking down, it might suggest he was texting or surfing the Internet on his phone.
Requesting video footage from nearby security cameras.
A smart personal injury lawyer knows to send a subpoena for the other driver’s motor vehicle record (“MVR”) to determine if he as a history of traffic offenses or unsafe driving behavior.
Examining the other driver’s vehicle to determine what the driver was doing when the vehicles collided. If there is food all over the floor, for example, it’s possible the driver was eating at the time of the accident.
Questioning the other driver in person, under oath at a deposition.
As experienced personal injury attorneys, we’re here to investigate and gather evidence to determine what happened. We know how to build a strong case. Some cases we settle because the at-fault driver admits to fault and his insurance company does the right thing. Other cases we try to juries. And if the at-fault driver was distracted, you can bet we’ll let the jury know about it. We’re happy to help you answer the question: what is the definition of distracted driving? – just give us a call!