Texting while driving is an ongoing distraction issue in our country, but there are many other reasons why drivers take their attention off the road.
A devastating crash only requires a few seconds of driver distraction. Knowing this, the state of Georgia is proactive in dealing with the issue, but putting words into action is up to the motorist.
Why texting ranks at the top
When you consider how many types of distractions exist for a motorist, you find that they usually fall into one of three categories of attention elements: visual, manual or cognitive. The reason texting while driving is so dangerous is that this activity requires using all three simultaneously.
People often try to multitask while behind the wheel. In addition to using a cellphone to text, make a call or check social media sites, a few distractions can take a driver’s attention away from the road:
- Adjusting the radio
- Eating and drinking
- Applying makeup
- Turning to deal with children in the back seat
- Interacting with passengers
- Picking up something from the floor
- Reading (a map, a newspaper, a book)
The Hands-Free Law
In 2017, the Georgia state legislature passed Bill 673, known as the Hands-Free Law, which became effective on July 1, 2018. The law requires motorists to employ hands-free technology if they wish to use their cellphones or other electronic devices while driving. There are a few exceptions, however. Drivers may use a smartwatch, and they may also use their GPS devices for mapping or navigating purposes.
The texting ban
The Hands-Free Law is one of several steps Georgia has taken to reduce distraction-related vehicle crashes. The state prohibited texting while driving in 2010. Drivers 18 and older are not permitted to read, write or send text messages while operating a vehicle.
Hoping for change
Of course, not everyone obeys the law. Drivers still text, make calls, eat, drink and fall prey to other kinds of distractions, endangering other motorists. If you should become the victim of a distracted driver and sustain an injury in a collision, even a minor fender-bender, obtain medical attention promptly, then seek legal guidance to learn about your options and the financial compensation available to you.