When you hear the term “distracted driving,” you probably think about texting and driving. While distracted driving laws in Georgia certainly include cell phone use while driving, there are other types of distractions that can pull your eyes and attention off the road. Do you know what you can and can’t do while driving?
What is Distracted Driving?
“Distracted Driving” refers to any activity that diverts attention from driving, including visual distractions as well as manual (hands off the wheel) or cognitive diversions (mind/concentration away of driving). While cell phone usage has proven to be one of the most popular and dangerous types of distracted driving, you should also know that you can be charged for the following while operating a vehicle:
- Grooming (brushing hair, putting on makeup)
- Talking to the other passengers in the vehicle
- Adjusting the stereo
- Programming the navigation system
Whether you are 16 or 60, you are held accountable to Georgia’s legislation and laws surrounding distracted driving. A violation of this law could mean being charged with distracted driving fines as well as other traffic violations or civic liability charges if other persons were injured due to your distracted driving.
Why is the Law So Strict?
While it may seem inconvenient to put your phone away and only pay attention to your driving tasks, there is good reason for this law. Distractions cause serious harm and sometimes fatal injuries. In fact, to make our roads safer, Georgia has made texting while driving illegal for any individual and implemented the following:
Under Georgia law O.C.G.A. § 40-6-241, “A driver shall exercise due care in operating a motor vehicle on the highways… and shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle.”
The Statistics Don’t Lie
Still not convinced it’s that dangerous to multi-task or quickly text a friend while driving? Consider the following statistics:
- If a driver is traveling 55mph, for the time it takes them to send a text message, they will have traveled the distance of a football field. (Source: NHTSA on Distracted Driving)
- Drivers 20-years-old and younger have the highest number of fatal collisions due to distracted driving. (Source: CDC)
- According to the GeorgiaDepartment of Transportation, the number of distracted driving crashes in Georgia has risen by more than 400 percent in the last decade (Source: GA Highway Safety)
- Every day in the U.S., more than eight people are killed and 1,600 are injured in collisions involving a distracted driver. (Source: CDC)
If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a collision due to distracted driving, contact Darrell T. Farr in Stockbridge to schedule a consult. This is a serious driving offense that deserves fair compensation.