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Distracted Driving

By Evan L. Kaine

Keep your hands at ten and two.

Be a defensive driver.

Watch your speed.

Be aware of your surroundings.

When it comes to driving, we are not only responsible for ourselves, but also passengers and innocent bystanders. This responsibility becomes even more critical when we allow distractions to be our focal point. There are three (3) types of distracted driving: 1) manual; 2) visual; and 3) cognitive. Distracted driving is considered any activity that takes a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. Among these many distractions, the greatest risk is that of texting.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration , nearly thirty percent of distracted drivers involved in a fatal crash are under the age of twenty (20).  In 2012 alone, there were an estimated 3,328 deaths due to motorists being distracted behind the wheel.

While the statistics are disturbing, the response has been a significant increase in stricter laws regarding texting and cell phone use throughout the United States. Currently, Georgia has passed the following laws:

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (O.C.G.A. § 40-5-142).
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-241.1).
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (O.C.G.A. § 40-6-241.2).

Since these laws have been passed, Georgia has seen a decrease in teen fatalities from 23 deaths in 2012 and from 37 in 2011. This is almost half the number of teens who had been killed ten (10) years earlier when more than 45 teens were killed in car accidents on Georgia highways.

In addition to the nationwide campaign to eliminate cellphone use while driving, there are programs dedicated to educating motorists about distracted driving. Among these programs, Safe America is devoted to educating teens at their initial driving experience. Currently, high school students throughout metro Atlanta are learning the dangers of texting and other forms of distraction by participating in a program called “Georgia Teens Xcited 2 X the Txt”.

This program, like many others, can create a ripple effect among our young adults. With the help of parents, educators and first responders, the state of Georgia is working to make our roadways safer. By taking the pledge and being responsible drivers, we can save a life.

If you have been a victim of an auto accident due to distracted driving, contact us at Kaine Law by phone at 888-KAINE-LAW (888-524-6352) or at www.atlantaautoaccidentlaw.com  for a free consultation.

—-“It takes 4.6 seconds to send a text, but it takes 1 second to cut a life short.”—

Published October 07, 2014

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