When it comes to driving safety, you surely know the basics already. However, do you ever answer a call or text while on the road? If the answer is yes, you may be breaking the law and endangering others. Distracted driving can lead to traffic accidents resulting in injuries and fatalities.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving covers a wide range of activities. The first activity that likely comes to mind is texting while driving, but that is just the start. Distracted driving can encompass talking on the phone, eating, drinking, applying makeup, and any other activity that pulls your focus from the road.
These activities may seem harmless, but when something goes wrong, it can be disastrous. About 3,100 people are killed and 424,000 injured every year due to distracted driving.
Consequences of Distracted Driving
In response to these alarming statistics, many states enforce laws attempting to reduce distracted driving. As tempting as it is to check an email on the way to work, you should know the potential consequences of doing that. These include:
- Personal injury
- Vehicle damage
- Fines and fees
- Loss of your license
If you are already facing legal action or other penalties for distracted driving, acting quickly is essential. Hire an Atlanta car accident attorney to represent your interests and defend you in court.
Personal Injury and Harm to Others
The first priority in passing distracted driving laws is to save lives. When you glance down at a text message, it may feel like only a brief loss of focus. But at high speeds, a few seconds can make all the difference between preventing a crash.
Driving distracted runs the risk of traffic accidents that can result in injuries to you and others. Therefore, you should always give the road your full attention. If there is an urgent task you must resolve on the phone, for example, wait until you can safely pull over and complete that task.
Damage to Vehicles
Even in crashes where no one suffers an injury, extensive vehicle damage can occur. Fender-benders, roadway departures, and T-bone collisions are all common side-effects of distracted driving. If you are found to be at fault for an accident, you could face high repair bills and increased insurance premiums for years to come.
Payment of Fines
The prior two points explore what happens when distracted driving leads to a crash. However, what about when a driver gets caught on the phone?
Most states punish distracted drivers with a series of increasing fines. Not all states ticket every kind of distracted driving. It may be legal, for example, to use a phone or headset in your area, but not in others. States may also issue higher fines for texting while driving versus other forms of distraction.
Loss of Driving Privileges
Depending on your state, repeat distracted driving offenses or a severe crash could lead to losing your driving privileges. License suspension can prevent you from getting to work and traveling freely, hindering your daily life.
In this situation, it is best to hire an attorney to fight for your right to drive. A lawyer can go over the procedures leading up to your license suspension and identify any procedural errors. Legal representation means your rights are protected, and your best interest is represented.
In a worst-case scenario, you may be held liable for harm inflicted on others while distracted driving. The penalties for this range from paying medical bills to possible jail time. This is a serious situation that demands immediate action on your part. Therefore, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel.
Responding to a Distracted Driving Charge
If you are pulled over for distracted driving or get involved in an accident, you may be able to combat the charges. Protect yourself in court with experienced legal representation to minimize the damage to yourself and others.