Texting and Driving in Georgia: What You Can do to Protect Your Children
There is a new epidemic in America. Texting is rampant and it is not without its negative consequences. Most of us have laughed at the video of the woman walking into the pond because she is walking and texting, or the gentleman disappearing into the ditch. However, this becomes a lot less amusing when the issue is teenagers getting behind the wheel of a car and thinking that they can manage the challenges of being a new driver and sending or receiving text messages.
Studies estimate that more than three thousand people die every year from distracted driving, which includes texting and driving. Both sending and receiving texts can be equally distracting. Estimates are that more than 380,000 people were injured in automobile accidents last year involving distracted drivers. The government website distraction.gov reports that eighteen percent of motor vehicle accidents involving injuries in 2010 were the result of distracted drivers. The Centers for Disease Control has just completed a study that finds that 45% of high school teenagers 16 years of age and older have texted while driving in the thirty days prior to being asked the question. Texting and driving now kills more teenagers each year than drinking and driving. The statistics as they relate to teenagers are getting worse year-over-year as texting becomes the most popular means by which teenagers socialize with each other.
A driver who is texting is 23 times more likely to get into an accident than non-texting drivers. When you couple this with the inexperience of teenage drivers, there is no question why so many teenagers are getting into serious or fatal accidents. However, there are things that you can do to protect your children short of locking them in their rooms and taking away their phones.
- Stop using your cell phone while driving. The fact is that adults also are guilty of texting and driving. Nearly one-third of drivers admit to sending texts while driving. Studies estimate that this is actually closer to fifty percent. Teenagers emulate the adults around them, so put down your phone.
- Ask your teenager to sign an agreement not to text. The act of creating and signing a written contract does have an impact on future behavior. Ask your teenager to affirmatively promise not to text and drive. It will make him think twice the next time he reaches for his phone to respond to a text while driving.
- Implement a reward program. On the honor system, establish a reward plan that states for every week he does not use his phone while driving, he will earn a set number of points, which can be redeemed for specific items.
- Use technology to limit your teenager’s ability to text. There are numerous new phone applications (“apps”) that you can install on a cell phone that turn off the texting feature when the phone is traveling faster than a pre-established speed. These apps will prevent texting while a car is moving,
Accidents that result from texting and driving are all too common. After an accident has occurred, there is little to be done other than contacting a qualified attorney to represent the affected parties. However, education and proactive intervention can make the difference in your teenager’s life.
If you or a loved one is injured or dies in a collision involving a distracted driver, our Atlanta Auto Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
No matter where you are located our auto accident attorneys in Atlanta 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).
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