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Has the distracted driving law in Georgia made a difference?

In 2018, lawmakers in Georgia passed a law that banned hands-on cellphone use while driving. Now that a little over a year has passed since it came into effect, people want to know if it has made a difference. The short answer is yes.

According to a report released this summer, law enforcement officers have issued more traffic citations for distracted driving over the last year than they did the previous year. The number of fatal accidents occurring in the state have dropped. Finally, the number of auto insurance claims filed by Georgia residents has decreased. So, yes, the law does seem to have had an impact.

What does microsleep have to do with car accidents?

A number of factors contribute to car accidents. Speeding, drunk driving and other reckless behaviors put everyone on the road at risk. Another contributing factor that may not get as much attention as it needs is sleep deprivation.

Drowsy driving poses the same dangers as drunk driving. Without enough sleep, your ability to drive safely diminishes in much the same way as it does for drunk drivers. But, how much more dangerous does the situation become when you fall asleep at the wheel if even for only a few seconds?

Do police consider you a suspect in their investigation?

As the saying goes, a person accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Of course, if authorities accuse you of a crime, you may feel as if they have already deemed you guilty before you even have a chance to understand your situation.

Though finding the "bad guy" is among the duties of police officers, it is important to remember that they do not always see the full picture or have all the information about how an event took place. Often, if they find what they believe is evidence that points to a suspect, they may not even continue looking for other possible suspects.

Nighttime driving poses more hazards than daytime driving

Lessening the likelihood of a car accident is likely a goal you and many other Georgia drivers share. You may understand the importance of always wearing your seat belt, having a vehicle with advanced safety features and following traffic laws. Of course, many other factors can affect how you should conduct yourself when behind the wheel of a vehicle.

In particular, you may need to change the way you drive when you travel at night. Nighttime driving can pose many hazards that are not present during daylight hours, and you need to understand that you may need to make adjustments to reduce the risks you face while on the road after dark.

Drunk drivers place Georgia travelers at risk

You might consider yourself a "casual drinker" or someone who consumes alcohol in moderation. You like having a cold beer, glass of wine or mixed drinks with family and friends on social occasions, but other than that, drinking is not really a big deal in your life. If you're age 21 or older, there isn't necessarily anything wrong with drinking alcohol, unless you get into legal trouble by operating a motor vehicle with a .08 or higher blood alcohol content level.

As long as you make responsible choices and adhere to alcohol-related laws, there's no legal reason you can't imbibe. However, even if you act responsibly, there's no guarantee that other drivers who are sharing your roadways are doing the same. In fact, there are people who have utter disregard for any type of traffic regulation or criminal law. Sadly, many Georgia residents have suffered serious injuries (and often, fatalities) because of drunk drivers. If you survive a drunk driving accident, you may still suffer long-lasting consequences.

The importance of stopping at flashing red lights

The many signs and symbols used to direct traffic can seem confusing to many drivers, especially those who do not have much experience. Still, it is important to utilize these devices to help ensure that areas have better traffic flow.

Of course, if a person does not know what a symbol or a flashing light means, he or she could easily take the wrong action and cause an accident. On that same note, a driver who simply chooses not to heed a direction, is impaired or distracted could also fail to abide by traffic directions and cause a serious accident that could leave you seriously injured.

Appealing a criminal conviction

If the trial did not go as you planned and you ended up convicted of a crime, chances are you are confused and perhaps even angry about the outcome. Maybe you blame your attorney, or you feel the judge was against you from the beginning. Perhaps you know one of the witnesses lied on the stand, or you may remember some new detail that you plan to introduce in your appeal.

Unfortunately, like many, you may have a misunderstanding about what the appeals process means. An appeal is not a retrial of your case. In fact, the justice system in Georgia and throughout the country prefers to let court rulings stand. This is why your appeal has a very limited scope of examination.

Police lineups can lead to wrongful convictions

Facing charges for a violent crime means your future is at risk. The penalties for violent crimes can include years or even decades behind bars, not to mention a criminal record that will likely impede you from pursuing most career paths.

Police investigations into violent crimes such as assault, murder and rape often include interviews with people who claim to have witnessed the crime or to have seen someone suspicious at the time the incident occurred. Such interviews may culminate with a police lineup, and here is where your rights may suffer the most harm.

Be cautious regarding information you share after a car accident

Driving in Georgia isn't always pleasant. High-traffic areas can be busy and chaotic, especially if aggressive or negligent drivers are sharing the road. No matter how safe you drive, your life can change in an instant if a nearby motorist is distracted.

If another vehicle collides with yours, the next moments could be some of the most stressful experiences in your life. It's understandable that you'd feel shaken. However, it is important to know how to react. By planning ahead, you will know what to do immediately following an accident.

A couple of tools can help you to prove fault in vehicle crash

Experiencing a car wreck can understandably be frightening. At the same time, the car crash may make you feel frustrated if it stemmed from another motorist's careless driving.

If someone else's negligence on the road has resulted in serious injuries to you, you have the right to seek justice in a Georgia civil court. Here is a glimpse at a couple of tools you can use to strengthen your court case and thus increase your chances of receiving compensation for your injuries.

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