Over the past several years, automobile manufacturers have increased the number of features, such as backup cameras, lane-keep assist, and emergency braking, all of which are designed to keep you safe and reduce the risk of collisions. Unfortunately, despite these safety features, automobile accident fatalities and serious injuries continue to happen. There are many causes of Georgia car accidents, many of which result in severe injuries and/or fatalities. The majority of collisions involve negligence on the driver’s part. Here are some of the most common underlying causes of Georgia car accidents.
New technology and the ability for connectedness has encouraged drivers to use their phone more and more, unfortunately, oftentimes it’s while they are driving. Reading and responding to text messages is one of the most common causes of collisions resulting from distracted driving. Other causes of distracted driving may include applying cosmetics, eating while driving, adjusting the radio, and talking with passengers. The best way to avoid the risk of accident is to turn your phone off while driving and avoid eating or applying cosmetics while driving.
Driving While Intoxicated
Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is one of the leading causes of traffic accident deaths. Drugs and alcohol can impair your muscle coordination, your judgment and significantly slow your reaction time. Driving even after just one beer or cocktail puts you and the other drivers on the road at a high risk of an accident. In 2018, several hundred people were killed in drunk driving accidents in Georgia. If you have been drinking, do not drive.
Driving over the speed limit significantly increases the risk of a collision as well as the force of the impact. Driving at high speeds increases the stopping distance, which impacts your ability to not only stop but to visually see oncoming hazards and bring your vehicle to a safe stop. If the roads are wet, stopping while speeding becomes even more difficult. In Georgia, just like all other states, it is illegal to drive over the posted speed limit and it’s also illegal to drive too fast in poor environmental conditions, such as fog or darkness. Even exceeding the posted speed limit by 5 or 10 miles per hour is unacceptable, and dangerous. The easiest way to avoid the risk of a ticket or other legal consequences such as loss of license and to reduce the risk of an accident is to slow down and follow the posted speed limits.
Driving while fatigue affects your brain in the same way as driving while intoxicated, in fact, studies have shown that driving without sleep for 18 hours or more, is as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Driving while fatigued is a serious issue among commercial drivers, especially those that drive late at night or early in the morning. Driving while drowsy slows your reaction time and increases the risk of overlooking potential hazards. If you are feeling sleepy, put over and take a short nap to reduce the risk of getting in an accident due to fatigue.
Drivers that are involved in an accident due to being distracted intoxicated, violating the speeding limit, or driving fatigued can lead to a range of negative consequences, including legal action against you. If you caused an accident due to negligence, you may be held responsible for the other person’s damages. Experienced car accident lawyers in Macon, GA will study the police reports for indications of negligence, and if the facts show that you were driving and acted recklessly and negligence, the other parties attorney can file a lawsuit seeking compensation for the pain and suffering, property damage, medical bills and lost income that the injured party suffered from as a result of the accident.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages
If you have been injured in an automobile accident in Georgia, you may be eligible for economic and non-economic damages:
- Economic damages are the actual financial consequences of the accident, such as the medical bills (current and future) and lost wages.
- Non-economic damages include damages for emotional distress or pain and suffering that you have experienced due to the result of the accident.
You may also be held responsible for punitive damages, which are designed to punish drivers or defendants for extremely bad behavior. For instance, if you were involved in an accident and the other driver was speeding, driving while distracted, intoxicated, or another type of negligence, the court may find that your behavior was so awful that it warrants additional punishment.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that driving while without regard to other drivers on the road can lead to expensive consequences as well as serious injuries, even fatalities. It is important to note that there is a certain limit of time in which you can file a claim if you have been injured in an auto accident, which is generally two years. So, if you have been injured due to the negligence of someone else, it’s essential that you contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible following the accident.