Motor vehicle accidents in Georgia can be caused by inclement driving conditions, drunk driving or distracted driving. One of the more common causes of a car accident, though, may be the use of cell phones behind the wheel. Recently, the Dalton Police Department completed a survey of driver’s cell phone use on three local streets.

The police department found that an alarming 24 percent of all drivers were on their cell phone on one local roadway. A significant number of drivers were found to be using the cellular devices on the other two streets as well, 21 percent on one of the roads and 15 percent on the other. There are also may be a correlation between cell phone usage and car accidents on these roads. One out of every five accidents in Dalton, Georgia, for example, takes place on the first of three sampled streets.

Furthermore, 43 percent of all accidents last year in Dalton were rear-ending accidents, some of which may have been caused by drivers talking on their cell phone. Yet, while it is legal to talk on a cell phone and drive if you are over 18 years old, it may nonetheless be a reason to hold a driver liable in the event of an accident.

Distracted driving is a likely cause of car accidents, and cell phone usage is one large component of that. However, when a person is injured in a car accident through no fault of their own, but through the negligent or willful conduct of another, they may be able to bring a civil claim for personal injury against the offending driver. A claim can request monetary compensation for medical and personal expenses or payment for emotional and physical distress. If you or a loved one is involved in a motor vehicle accident, it may be worthwhile to pay attention to the results of the official police investigation and weigh all your options at that point in time.

Source: WDEF 12 News, “Dalton: Distracted Driving,” Jillian Pavlica, March 27, 2012