Pickelsimer LLC
Atlanta Georgia Personal Injury and Small Business Attorney

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Georgia's Texting Laws

THE GEORGIA LAW PROHIBITING ALL TEXTING WHILE DRIVING can be found HERE

THE GEORGIA LAW PROHIBITING ALL CELL PHONE USE FOR TEEN DRIVERS can be found HERE.

Both of the texting and driving laws were both enacted in 2010 in Georgia.

Current data shows that driver inattentiveness is one of the main causes of many collisions and near-accidents. There are plenty distractions to keep Georgia motorists from focusing on the road including cell phones, radio, food, and drowsiness.

According to a 2006 study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) about 80-percent of crashes were caused by some form of distraction - such as cell phone use or drowsiness - occurring within three seconds of the incident based on real-world driver behavior. The study also found that drivers who frequently engage in the most distracting activities are more likely to be involved in an inattention-related collision or near-collision. 

The VTTI and NHTSA study followed 100 vehicles and 241 drivers for one year.  Over two-million logged miles and 42-thousand-plus hours of activity, the test subject drivers were in 82 collisions, 761 near-collisions and 8,296 critical collisions.

It makes sense that cell phone use is the most common driving distraction involving new-age technology. What may surprise many drivers is that using a cell phone for talking or dialing causes a nearly equal amount of accidents. This is because removing a driver’s eyes from the road to dial occurs less often than talking or listening, even though it is more dangerous.

Atlanta was ranked as the sixth-least courteous city in the U.S. in a 2008 AutoVantage motor club survey. 35-percent of the Metro-Area drivers respondents stated they talk on the cell phone while driving everyday. Another survey conducted online and released in May 2008 gave Georgia has the third-highest rate in the nation for drivers who text on cell phones while behind the wheel. 37 percent of the drivers in that survey said they text and drive.  Younger, less experienced drivers may even engage in this hazardous distracted driving habit at a higher frequency.

Your primary job when you are driving is to pay attention and drive. Distractions that take your eyes off the road, like when you text, create a hazard not only for others but yourself.  Preliminary data that suggests that texting while driving is more dangerous than talking while driving. There is also data that has found that teen drivers are the most easily distracted drivers. parents should encourage their teenage drivers to refrain from using their cell phones while driving at all.

The National Safety Council (NSC) has found that at any given time around 7% of motorists are using their phones. Drivers distracted by their cell phones are comparable to impaired drivers.

Hands-free devices may not be as safe as some people assume and some studies discount the benefit of hands-free devices. While a hands-free device will help a driver keep both hands on the wheel, they have been shown not to reduce the level of distraction. This indicates it’s the conversation that distracts the driver.

Unfortunately, distractions are not limited to cell phone use. Other activities have been found to be just as distracting or even more likely of increasing crash occurrences. Here’s how they rank:

  1. Reaching for a moving object - increases crash risk by 9 times;
  2. Drowsiness - increases risk 4 times
  3. Looking at an object outside the vehicle - increases crash risk by 3.7 times;
  4. Reading - increases crash risk by 3 times;
  5. Applying makeup or grooming - increases crash risk by 3 times;
  6. Using a hand-held device like a GPS - increases crash risk by 3 times; and
  7. Talking or listening to a hand-held cell phone increases crash risk by 1.3 times.

If you’ve been involved in an accident in Georgia involving a distracted driver or a driver on their cell phone, call me or fill out my form for a free consultation. I can help you obtain fair compensation for your injuries and damages. By calling (404) 610-4429, you will ensure you will receive proper representation against by the at-fault driver and the insurance companies.

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