A law that prohibits the use of hand cell phones while driving for Georgia motorists has possibly contributed to a drop in the number of auto accidents caused by distracted drivers in the state. Unfortunately, before the law was passed, there were a significant number of car accidents in Georgia involving persons talking and texting while driving.
According to representatives at the Georgia Governors of Highway Safety, there has been a reduction in the number of car accidents directly caused by distracted motorists since the ban was passed. The law which prohibits Georgia motorists from using a handheld cell phone to send or receive text messages or to even touch a telephone while driving was passed in 2017, and went into effect the following year.
The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety only has statistics for the year 2021, and the data for that year seems to indicate that the number of people convicted for handheld cell phone use increased significantly after the stricter ban was enacted. There were more than 43,000 distracted driving convictions in 2021 for violation of the ban. Many of these involved people who were driving while holding their cell phones. That was a significant four -fold increase from 2017.
Experts believe that the passing of the law as well as the enforcement campaigns since then to ensure that all drivers follow the law, have resulted in more people becoming aware of the dangers of texting while driving. Moreover, there has been a significant drop in the number of accidents caused by distracted drivers. In 2017, 5.3% of car accident wrongful deaths were caused by distracted motorists who were using their cell phones while driving. In 2021, after the law was passed, that number had dropped to 3.1%.
Make no mistake – there are still far too many motorists in Georgia who still continue to use their cell phones while driving. For the most part, these motorists remain negligent of their accident risks if they are distracted while driving. However, progress has been made, and the enforcement of these laws has meant fewer people who take their hands away from the steering wheel or their eyes away from the road to send or answer a text message or answer a phone call while driving.
Taking your hand away from the steering wheel or your eyes away from the road even for a few seconds can increase your risk of being involved in a car accident. One study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute estimated that a car could travel the length of a football field in the 4 seconds that a person took his eyes away from the road to check a text. That is more than enough time to cause a potentially serious auto accident.
Drive safe and drive smart. Place your phone on mute and send all calls to voicemail while you are behind the wheel. If you have to talk while driving, which is sometimes necessary, use the hands free option provided by most vehicles.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered injuries in auto and car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across the state of Georgia. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your legal options for a claim for damages.