Distracted driving is a huge problem in Georgia and across the country. Thousands of people are injured or killed every year due to drivers who are not paying attention to the road. Here are some sobering facts about distracted driving that you should know about.
Distracted driving facts
Did you know that 90% of road users use their smartphones while driving? This is shocking because a study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that approximately 280,000 people sustained serious injuries as a result of distracted driving, and 3,142 were killed in motor vehicle accidents within a year.
Why does this happen?
Driving is an activity that requires intense focus. Anything can happen on the road unexpectedly. If something takes away your attention, even for a minute, you risk your life and that of others.
Experts say that sending a text while driving at 55mph is like being blindfolded while driving for 100 yards. With so much going on the road, this is very risky.
What constitutes distracted driving in Georgia?
Any activity besides driving that requires some attention is a distraction. This could be operating a phone, grooming, eating and drinking, adjusting the car radio, etc. Sometimes, even daydreaming while driving is as dangerous as texting.
Georgia distracted driving laws
According to House Bill 673, the Hands-free law, it is illegal for you to use your hand or any part of your body to use or support your phone while driving. You can only use your phone to receive a call using a wireless ear gadget or for GPS navigation.
You can use ear gadgets for communication purposes only and not for entertainment. If you must send a text or call someone, use voice-based communication software to do so.
If there is an emergency and you have to call 911, the law allows you to use your phone. You can also use your phone at a lawfully parked area and not at a traffic stop sign. The laws in Georgia against distracted driving are meant to help prevent accidents.