Did you know that this week is Operation Southern Shield? It started on July 20 and ends on the 26th. During Operation Southern Shield, law enforcement officers will be working to crack down on motorists in Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Alabama, and South Carolina who are engaging in dangerous driving behaviors. This includes driving under the influence, distracted driving, and of course, driving over the speed limit. This is especially important right now – while traffic has dropped due to COVID-19, traffic deaths have not, as more motorists are driving above the speed limit. Although officers will be working hard to reduce traffic accidents this week, you should be aware of what to do if you are in a collision with a speeding motorist. If you are injured in an auto accident due to the careless behavior of another driver, contact the Don Turner Legal Team and see how we can help you.
Although it might be common to see drivers traveling above the speed limit, it’s nothing to take lightly. In 2018, one in five traffic-related fatalities in Georgia was caused by speeding. And according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, speeding is a factor in almost one third of all motor vehicle fatalities in the United States. 9,718 people across the country died in speeding-related collisions in 2018 alone – that is not a number for you to take lightly.
Law enforcement officials in the southeastern United States aren’t taking that number lightly either, especially now, when people are treating the COVID-19 induced drop in traffic as an invitation to put the pedal to the metal. This week, you can expect to see more state troopers, police officers, and deputies enforcing traffic laws across Georgia. The goal is not to write extra traffic tickets but instead to show Georgia motorists that respecting the speed limit, refraining from driving under the influence, and keeping your focus on the road can save lives. It works too – in 2019, Operation Southern Shield led to a 29 percent drop in the number of traffic deaths.
What if a Speeding Driver Collides with Me?
Although Operation Southern Shield is aiming to reduce the number of speeding-related collisions, you should still be prepared for the possibility of being involved in one. Traffic might be lighter but with more lead-footed drivers on the road, the possibility of being involved in a car accident is still higher than normal. If a speeding driver collides with your car, you need to know what steps to take in order to ensure you are properly compensated for any injuries and/or property damage you suffer as a result of the accident:
- Do not leave the scene of an accident: Remain on scene until you have spoken with emergency services, no matter how minor the accident is. Even if you are not at fault for the collision, leaving the scene of an accident could lead you to face a variety of criminal charges.
- Call 911 to report the accident: Make sure to tell the operator your name, your location, how many people appear to be injured, and how many vehicles were involved.
- Make sure your car isn’t obstructing other motorists: If possible, move your car so it is not creating a hazard for other drivers. If this is not possible, turn on your hazard lights or place the hood or the trunk of your car up.
- Get as much information as you can: Collect the contact information of anyone involved in the accident and any possible witnesses and obtain and write down as much information of the accident as possible. It is also a good idea to take pictures of the scene. This will help you reconstruct the facts of the accident later, which can help resolve your insurance claim.
- Be careful what you tell the police: Do not speculate about the facts of an accident, accuse other drivers of being responsible, or assume responsibility for the accident yourself when talking to law enforcement officers. This sort of speculation can be used against you later on.
- Seek medical treatment, even if you feel no pain: Your injuries could take weeks to fully manifest themselves, and a doctor will be able to detect signs of serious injuries long before they occur. Waiting too long to see a doctor can hurt your personal injury case, as the insurance company’s lawyer can use this to argue that you were not really injured in your auto accident.
- Notify your insurance company to start the claims process: Do this as soon as you can – failing to do so in a timely manner could lead you to lose your coverage. Only provide the facts of the accident. You do not have to speak to the other driver’s insurance company and should not do so, as they can use anything you say to them against you.
And once you have taken all of these steps, contact the attorneys at the Don Turner Legal Team for help resolving your personal injury claim. Georgia law enforcement will be working hard to reduce the number of speeding-related accidents this week, but you need to be ready if disaster strikes. A collision with a speeding driver can derail your life – that’s why you