Despite all the public safety campaigns to stop it, distracted driving continues to be a huge problem on Atlanta’s congested streets and highways. This is especially dangerous when a driver hits a motorcycle. The motorcycle rider has no protection other than his clothes and helmet. As a result, many victims suffer needless catastrophic injuries or die.
What Causes Distracted Driving Accidents?
When a driver is distracted, it can affect his driving abilities in several ways—all increasing the likelihood of a crash. Distractions take these three forms:
- Visual – Where the person’s eyes are off the road.
- Manual – Which takes the person’s hands off the steering wheel or other controls.
- Cognitive – Which takes the person’s mind and focus off of his driving and the road.
Given the differences between motorcycles and passenger vehicles, motorists should be even more attentive to their driving. The smaller size of motorcycles makes them difficult to see—even when a driver is paying attention. Common ways motorists continue to engage in dangerous distracted driving includes:
- Cell phone usage. Although it is dangerous to do so, it seems like negligent drivers talk on their cell phones nonstop while driving. Even worse, drivers take their eyes off the road and their hands off the wheels for longer periods of time when they text while driving, making it not surprising that they fail to see nearby motorcycles.
- Eating and drinking. When a person is focused on his food and drink or the crumbs and spills they produce, his driving suffers, and motorcycle riders and their passengers can pay the price.
- Reading the GPS. Reading or fiddling with a GPS is another way that a driver’s eyes, mind, and hands are off somewhere other than driving. This action is frequently done unthinkingly when a driver needs directions.
- Personal grooming. Unfortunately, people in a rush sometimes leave their personal grooming for their driving time. As a result, they use mirrors for looking at themselves instead of motorcycles and other vehicles around them.
- Attending to passengers. While talking to passengers is acceptable, a driver can become distracted if the conversation becomes too animated or he looks to the side or back seats at the occupants.
What Are Georgia’s Cell Phone Usage Laws?
Like other states, Georgia has specific laws that govern cell phone usage when driving. The following rules apply:
- It is not illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving unless the driver is under 18 years old.
- Novice drivers who are less than 18 years old are banned from any cell phone usage while driving—including talking on a cell phone and texting.
- All drivers are banned from texting while driving.
How Do You Prove That Distracted Driving Caused Your Wreck?
Unfortunately, negligent drivers rarely admit that they were talking on a cell phone, texting, or otherwise engaging in distracted driving behaviors when hitting another vehicle or motorcycle. If your negligent driver readily admits this, you are fortunate. Otherwise, you will have to prove that the driver was distracted. How do you do this? A few ways to show that distracted driving caused your crash include:
- Police reports
- Witness testimony
- Surveillance tapes
- Cell phone records
- Physical evidence in the vehicle such as receipts for recent food and drink purchases
- Accident reconstruction expert findings
What Should You Do If a Distracted Driver Caused Your Motorcycle Accident?
If you were injured in a distracted driving accident, you could suffer debilitating injuries that require expensive medical treatments and time off work while you recover. If your injuries are severe enough, you may not be able to return to your former job—or could become permanently disabled.
Your first step after obtaining necessary medical care should be to retain an experienced motorcycle accident attorney for help prove that driver distraction caused your crash. David Brauns is here to take over the investigation of your accident and negotiations with the insurance company for the negligent driver so that you get the compensation you deserve. Fill out our firm’s contact form to schedule a free case evaluation with David.
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