We often say, “accidents happen” — meaning an occurrence outside of a person’s control. Negligence, on the other hand, is careless behavior. It is the lack of “ordinary care” or failing to apply ordinary skills to a situation.
When we think of negligent driving, we usually think of drinking and driving or texting and driving. But there are a surprising number of other ways in which drivers can be careless while on the road.
Most states have distracted driving laws that prohibit tasks not associated with operating the vehicle, like eating or drinking while driving.
Yet some things that drivers do may not be against the law per se, but they can be negligent if they cause a car accident.
Here are 3 forms of careless driving that you may not have thought of.
- Driving with a dog in your lap
Have you ever seen this? Fido (usually a small dog) with his head hanging out the driver’s side window or peering over the steering wheel, looking for all the world like he is driving the car. While most dog owners might think this is cute, according to PEW Trusts.org, traffic experts agree that driving with an unrestrained dog in the car (Fido on your lap, or your Labrador retriever jumping from the back seat into the front) can be dangerous. This is especially so if the dog interferes with the driver’s ability to pay attention to the road or properly steer the car.
AAA experts state that a 10-pound dog can turn into 300 lbs of force going at 30 miles per hour. And an 80-pound unrestrained dog (that Labrador) can turn into 2,400 pounds of pressure going at only 30 miles per hour.
- Mud covering your windows
Driving around town in a car or truck caked with mud that has a small, circular area wiped clean on the windshield or back window to see through, is, not only against the law, it’s negligent. One of the most important parts of driving is visibility and anything that blocks the driver’s view (e.g., a dog on your lap, snow, mud, dust, or dirt, etc.) is a hazard.
Drivers are legally responsible for maintaining their vehicles. So not only do you need to clean your windows, inside and out, but if your windshield is cracked and obstructs your clear view, you will need to repair it.
- Turning Back to Yell at, or check on, the kids
It’s not easy being a parent. And driving with little ones in the car can be a challenge at the best of times. But if you find yourself turning around to check on or reprimand the kids, keep in mind that this not only dangerous, by law, it’s considered distracted driving.
There are 3 basic forms of distracted driving recognized in Georgia:
- Visual distractions (as when you look away from the road)
- Manual distractions (taking your hands off the wheel), and
- Cognitive distractions (when your attention is distracted by something else)
Any type of distracted driving is dangerous.
You may not be able to completely avoid all “accidents,” but you can do your part to not be a negligent driver.
Personal Injury Attorneys in Cumming, Georgia.
The personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C., are here to help you. We serve clients in Atlanta, and in several counties throughout Georgia, including: Clayton County, Cobb County, Dekalb County, Douglas County, Fulton County, and Paulding County, among others. To find out how we can help you, call us at: 770-888-7707. Or contact us here.