Lawmakers Push for Georgia to Go 'Hands-Free'
Could Hands-Free Laws Save Lives in Georgia?
Distracted driving is a tremendous national problem, killing an estimated 3,000 people each year. Distracted driving can encompass any activity that pulls the driver's attention from the road ahead. The main types of distraction include texting, talking on the phone, eating or drinking, grooming, adjusting the radio, using the GPS, and more. Instances of distracted driving continue to plague the nation, despite laws in place in most states banning texting and driving, and aggressive anti-distraction public awareness campaigns.
Georgia has experienced a deadly year for car accidents. In 2016, more than 1,470 people dead on the road, up more than 40 from 2015. In an effort to combat distracted driving, lawmakers have already issued a piece of pre-filled legislation that could make Georgia a 'hands-free' state. Under hands-free laws, drivers can only use hands-free devices while driving. Accordingly, not only is texting prohibited, but so is talking on the cell phone unless it is through a hands-free device. Currently, more than 15 states have gone hands-free.
Eliminating hand held devices while driving is intended to prevent the extreme distraction that can happen when drivers are using only one hand while driving. More automakers today have implemented hands-free technologies within their vehicles, as have cell phone makers. However, studies about the safety of hands-free devices have sparked some concerns. According to some studies, hands-free devices are just as hazardous as hand held devices. With a hands-free device, the driver is still required to look and speak into a screen.
One study conducted by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute produced alarming results. The study tested people driving a closed course under one of three conditions: texting by hand, texting by voice, and without texting. Surprisingly, there was no difference between the drivers who texted by voice or hands-free. Drivers texting by either method spent less time watching the road and had significantly delayed reaction times.
Part of the continuing issues with hands-free devices involve the technology itself. Drivers who are forced to proofread and correct texts or manually correct mistakenly dialed numbers will be more distracted than others. Improving hands-free technology is part of the solution towards improving hands-free safety.
While the studies on safety are mixed, Georgia lawmakers are taking a positive step forward in attempting to address the ongoing issue of distracted driving. Through continued ongoing efforts, lawmakers at the state and federal level can have a positive impact on distracted driving rates. Coupled with new technological developments, it is possible that distracted driving will one day be a thing of the past.
Contact Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law for Your Free Consultation Today!
Distracted driving remains a considerable problem in Georgia and elsewhere across the nation. Stronger laws banning cell phone use can effectively stop drivers from driving distracted, but hands-free laws remain controversial. If you have been injured by a suspected distracted driver, contact the Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates. Our car accident lawyers are here to help the victims of all manner of accidents. Since 1984, Montlick & Associates has assisted auto accident and injury victims throughout the State of Georgia.
No matter where you are located, our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.
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