Distracted driving is any behavior that diverts your attention from the road; applying make-up, using a navigation system, and especially texting are all forms of distracted driving. To avoid becoming a statistic, don’t text and drive.
Distracted Driving by the Numbers
- 58% of teenagers involved in accidents were distracted
- Cell phone use accounts for 12% of distracted teenager’s accidents
- Dialing a cell phone makes the risk of a crash or near-crash 8 times higher
- Typing or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds.
- 9% of all fatal crashes in 2017 were related to distracted driving
- 9% of all crashes in 2017 were related to distracted driving (the number of cases decreased from the previous year, but the percentage remained the same)
- Cell phone use is responsible for 14% of distraction-affected fatal crashes
- 42% of high school students reported sending a text while driving
The National Safety Council believes that the actual accounts of distracted drivers are worse than reported. The NSA is concerned that states are not collecting all the necessary information related to accidents to truly identify the underlying cause of a crash. Their findings show that crash reports of over 50% of states lack fields to accurately document if a driver was texting or using a hands-free cell phone. Without thorough data to research, the problem of distracted driving cannot be eradicated.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration categorizes driving distractions as manual, visual, or cognitive.
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road
- Manual: removing your hands from the wheel
- Cognitive: shifting your mental focus away from the act of driving
Texting involves all three.
Sending a quick text removes your eyes from the road, your hands from the steering wheel, and directs your focus to navigate the keyboard instead of the road. For this reason, the NHTSA equates this distraction will driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.
To combat the growing problem of distracted drivers, Georgia enacted the Hands-Free Law on July 1, 2018.
Under the Hands-Free Law drivers are prohibited in engaging in the following behaviors:
- Talking on a phone while holding it
- Writing or reading text messages
- Reading or sending e-mails
- Checking social media
- Watching videos
- Recording video (dash cams are an exception)
- Touching the phone to adjust streaming music
Violators will be fined $50 and assessed 1 point against the driver’s license for a 1st-time offense.
Seeking an Attorney
Texting while driving is not only illegal but if you cause an accident while texting or talking on the phone, you may be liable for additional damages. Furthermore, a cell phone violation could lead to a reckless driving charge.
Conversely, if you have been injured in a car accident as a result of a distracted driver, you may be entitled to received compensation. The law offices of Matthew C. Hines has the resources and skills to ensure that victims of such accidents receive the right compensation. We have a skilled team dedicated to car accidents and assisting victims.