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Articles Posted in Distracted Driving

damaged crash barrier at the roadsideAcross the country, more and more states are legalizing marijuana every year in response to our changing attitude toward the drug. While the recreational use of marijuana remains illegal in Georgia, it’s important to remember that marijuana, just like alcohol, can cause impairment when someone gets behind the wheel. Driving while high can lead to serious car accidents that can result in severe injuries to innocent people. 

Georgia DUI Laws

Like every other state, it is illegal in Georgia to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. For alcohol, anyone who has a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than .08 may be charged with DUI. Because there is currently no way to measure the content of marijuana in the blood, any presence of any amount of marijuana in the blood is sufficient to charge someone with DUI. 

traffic safety barrel in streetDespite our efforts to make our roads safer, the unfortunate reality is that the number of car accident fatalities is trending upward. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety has compiled statistics for the years 2009 through 2018, demonstrating an overall increase over the 10 year period. This is alarming for anyone traveling on our highways and underlines the potential hazards that most of us face every day. 

State-wide Car Accident Fatalities

The number of accidents across the state of Georgia has increased during the 2009-2018 time period. There is some fluctuation, but the overall trend is upward

A person texting behind the wheel of a carWe all know that distracted driving is dangerous – the CDC reports that every day over 1,000 crashes involve a distracted driver. Smartphones are the most obvious culprit, but anything that takes your eyes or mind off the road or your hands off the wheel can be considered distracted driving. When you consider all the different ways you can become distracted, it’s no wonder that states across the country are looking for ways to aggressively curb distracted driving. But how does distracted driving compare to other causes of motor vehicle accidents? 

At Slappey & Sadd, we study these trends so that we can better help our clients and understand the challenges they face. If you’ve been injured in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, call us at 404-255-6677 or send us an email to schedule a free consultation. 

Distracted Driving Statistics in Georgia

A semi-truck driving in the mountainsYou have likely heard about the horrific accident that happened shortly after the New Year on I-75 near Gainesville, Florida. Investigators still haven’t issued their final report, but it appears that a car and a semi-truck collided in the northbound lanes of I-75. The two vehicles then broke through a guardrail, crossed the median, and collided with another semi-truck and a church van loaded with children and headed for Disney World. As a result of diesel fuel spilled during the accident, the wreckage was consumed by a fire that burned so intensely it actually damaged the roadway. Tragically, 7 people were killed – 5 children and both truck drivers, with at least 8 others injured.

This accident is a sobering reminder of just how serious truck accidents can be. Reportedly occurring on a flat, straight stretch of I-75 in clear weather with good visibility, it raises the question of what you can do to avoid being involved in a similarly deadly accident.

Avoid Distractions

A man driving a carYou have probably heard about Georgia’s new “hands-free” law that took effect on July 1, 2018. The law prohibits having your phone in your hand or touching any part of your body while talking on the phone. The law also prohibits drivers from sending, writing, or reading texts and watching or recording any video content. First-time offenders face a $50.00 fine and one point on their license, with increasing penalties for repeat offenders.

The CDC reports that approximately 390,000 people are injured per year in accidents caused by distracted driving. While cell phones do cause many drivers to become distracted, it’s important to remember that there are other sources of distraction that are very common. Putting away your phone is a good place to start, but safe driving means eliminating as many distractions as possible.

Three Ways to Get Distracted

A steamroller rolling over fresh asphaltIt’s a fact of modern life: people are stressed out and in a hurry to get to work, get to school, or get to daycare. Mix in distracted driving, caused in large part by smartphones, and it’s no surprise that there are so many motor vehicle accidents on our roads and highways.

The dangers are particularly acute for our highway workers. After declining for a few years, work zone crashes are again on the rise across the country. Work zone accidents are also on the rise in Georgia, both in terms of injuries and fatalities. In 2017, there were 20,834 work zone crashes in the state of Georgia, resulting in 55 fatalities and 7,276 injuries. These are the risks that highway construction workers face every day.  

Georgia Construction Zone Laws

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