Distracted driving today accounts for about 25% of all car crash fatalities and about 80% of car accidents in general. Taking your eyes off the road for only three seconds can lead to an accident. With statistics as severe as these, it’s no wonder there are so many laws being put into place to keep drivers focused when they’re behind the wheel.
What distracts us while driving?
The number one distraction while driving — simply zoning out. We’ve all had those moments behind the wheel, driving a familiar route, where our mind just wanders. We feel like we’re still concentrating on the road, but in fact we impair our reaction time when our mind meanders.
Cellphone use comes in second on this list, specifically texting. This common activity for drivers equates to one of the main reasons car accidents occur.
Other activities that lead to distracted driving include:
- Turning to look at something outside the car like an accident or another person.
- Reacting to other people in the car, especially when being asked for something by a child.
- Reaching for something.
- Eating or drinking while driving.
- Changing radio stations or adjusting the car's controls.
It’s so easy to get distracted while driving, and each distraction increases the risk of an accident taking place.
How Georgia has addressed distracted driving
Georgia, along with many other states, has taken action against distracted driving. This summer, the state became the 26th state to enact a hands-free law. In Georgia, drivers can no longer hold their cell phones. The phones cannot touch any part of your body. You can still take calls. However, you can no longer read from your phone or take pictures or video. Additionally, texting, posting to social media, and reading emails is prohibited.
Your first offense results is a $50 fine and 1 point on your driver's history. Tickets are distributed for handling or touching your phone rather than using your car’s Bluetooth to access features. The only time you can touch your phone while driving is in an emergency.
Enacting this cell phone law led to an instant impact on decreasing the potential for people to drive distractedly. Within the first four days of Georgia being a hands-free state, nearly 1,000 tickets and warnings were given. During the first month, a variety of citations related to the hands-free law were given:
- 588 went to motorists for holding or supporting a mobile device,
- 65 were given for sending text-based communications while driving,
- 15 were for for watching videos or movies on a wireless device, and
- 5 were issued for using more than a single button to initiate or terminate a voice conversation
Had an accident as a result of distracted driving?
According to the Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety,
However, if you find yourself in an accident as a result of someone else's distracted driving, consider contacting an experienced personal injury attorney. At The Patterson Cozzo Law
Whether dealing with a citation or the repercussions of an accident, our expert knowledge can help you get the best possible outcome for your case