GEORGIA – AJC.COM reports that National Distracted Driving Awareness Month is occurring now in October. The event is typically observed in April, but like so many things, it was moved because of the coronavirus. Officials chose to switch the month because, in the midst of the chaos of the early days of the pandemic, the important road safety message would have likely been widely ignored. However, according to some in the state, the distracted driving and associated hazards have long been largely ignored.
While the hands-free law became effective in 2018, distracted drivers continue to plague the roads, and the public seems tired of the message. Although police and traffic safety advocates continue to warn about the need to stay safe and focused behind the wheel, it seems as though getting through to people is an uphill battle.
Distracted driving is often associated with phone use, but it need not be related to electronics. Even talking to people in the same car can be a distraction. Despite the law, there are many drivers in the state who flaunt their phone use by texting and talking on their phones while operating their cars. Although distractions are about as bad as drunk driving, the same stigma does not always attach.
Another current hazard on Georgia’s roads is the work zone on Interstate 20. While the undertaking should improve the roadway, the work being done is creating some risks to motorists in the short-term. Officials point out that the interstate work requires lane shifts, and drivers should be slowing down. The road is used by many large trucks meaning that when accidents happen, there are severe and potentially deadly consequences. Drivers should be keeping up to date on the road construction to avoid being surprised by the changes in traffic and lane usage.
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