It has been over a year since Georgia’s Hands-Free Law went into effect on July 1, 2018. Since then, a few other states have joined Georgia in implementing bans on hand-held devices while driving. It may be surprising to know, however, that while almost all states in the U.S. have no-texting-and-driving laws, only about one-third of the states in the U.S. have a complete cell phone ban while operating a motor vehicle. But do these hands-free laws stop distracted driving, and more importantly, reduce the risk of deadly car accidents? Not necessarily.
Distracted driving is the number one cause of fatal traffic accidents nationwide. A driver can be distracted due to a number of causes besides just using a cell phone. Any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road, even for a second, counts as distracted driving. This can include eating or drinking in the car, putting on makeup and even changing the radio station. Statistics on hands-free laws have shown that even though the number of drivers using cell phones may be down, the number of car accidents is not. However, cell phone use while driving has been known to cause the most deadly results of the distracted driving car accidents.
Even with hands-free laws around the country, statistics show that man drivers are still using their phones while driving. It is still pretty common to see drivers using their phones while stopped at red lights at intersections or stuck in traffic. And a fair number of drivers actively use their cell phones while actually driving on the roads. Drivers who engage in active cell phone use while driving are usually the ones that engage in other high risk behaviors while driving as well.