There are many different causes of car accidents in Georgia, but many accidents are caused by distracted driving. If you are injured by a distracted driver, you may have a more challenging situation on your hands, because proving distraction can be difficult.
It is easier to prove certain causes of car accidents, such as speeding or drunk driving. The availability of technology that can measure a driver’s speed or their blood alcohol level at the time of a crash makes determining the cause of an accident easier.
But how do you prove a driver was distracted? First, let’s look at what distracted driving means.
Types of distracted driving
Distracted driving is generally defined as anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the primary task of driving. By now, you have most likely heard about what a problem distracted driving has become due to the rise in cell phone use, but distracted driving involves more than just a driver being on their phone.
According to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, there are three types of distracted driving: visual, manual and cognitive.
Visual distractions involve looking at your phone or a screen in your vehicle. Looking out your side windows at scenery or an incident on the side of the road are other examples of visual distractions.
Manual distractions typically involve movement inside of your vehicle. Eating, drinking or reaching over to grab or pick something up are visual distractions.
Cognitive distractions are anything that takes your attention away from driving. These may seem like small things, but listening too intently to a talk show or podcast or even daydreaming or thinking about a personal problem can cause you to lose focus on the road.
Distracted driving is negligent driving. Negligence is the legal concept the personal injury cases after a car accident are based on.
As you can imagine, it is challenging to prove negligence in a case involving distracted driving, especially in a case involving cognitive distraction. Proving what a driver was thinking about or listening to at the time of the accident is nearly impossible.
What you can do
After the accident, call the police and have a report taken. The police will talk with everyone involved in the accident and the other driver could make a statement that could be used against them.
For example, the other driver might make a comment about how they have been under a lot of stress due to work lately. That can be used as evidence to show that they were distracted.
Talk with witnesses at the scene to see if they saw any signs of distracted driving. They might have seen the other driver on their phone or looking over at a passenger right before the crash.
Document everything else you can about the accident. Take pictures of the accident scene. Your injuries or the damage to your vehicle could help prove the cause of the accident.
Car accident victims often face a long recovery period. Holding negligent drivers accountable through compensation can provide help through this difficult time.