Texting More Dangerous Car Accident Risk Than Drunk Driving in Georgia


January 20, 2011

The popularity of cell phone and iPod texting has created an epidemic of drivers who text while driving despite laws in many states, including Georgia, prohibiting the practice. Many traffic safety experts contend that texting while driving has become a greater factor in serious auto accidents than drunk driving. What many drivers do not realize is that there is actual scientific research that supports this position.

A study measured delays in reaction time when applying the brakes when impaired by alcohol compared to texting. The study resulted in the following comparisons of braking reaction times:

  • Normal (i.e. no texting or alcohol): 0.54 seconds
  • Legal Impaired by Alcohol: 4 additional feet
  • Reading a Text: 36 additional feet
  • Sending a Text: 70 additional feet

While many people feel outrage toward those that drive under the influence of alcohol, texting while driving is still widely practiced despite the law making it illegal in Georgia. The public's attitude toward texting and driving may not change until the number of texting related car accidents and resulting traffic related fatalities rise to the level of those for drunk driving auto accidents. Another study that examined the dangers of texting while driving concluded that 16,141 fatalities resulted from texting while driving over a 6-year period.

Though these studies indicate that drivers who text while driving put others with whom they share the roadways at a serious risk of injury or death, the limits of the reaction time study may be even more alarming. The study only considered the delay in reaction time of a distracted driver who is texting while driving on a straight road with no obstacles. The impact on a distracted driver who is texting is likely to be even greater where the driver must negotiate curves in the road or avoid pedestrians, motor vehicles and other obstacles.

The Georgia law against texting and driving has limitations that may make it ineffective as a deterrent. It can be difficult to determine whether a driver is texting and driving because there are other uses of a cell phone while driving that are not prohibited. Drunk driving only declined when the penalties and enforcement for drunk driving offenses increased significantly. The current fine for texting while driving is only $150 for a first offense. The penalties for texting while driving may need to increase so that they are comparable to those for driving under the influence to have much impact on driving behavior. Sometimes the law is slow to keep up with technology, so many auto accident victims continue to suffer catastrophic injuries and death at the hands of distracted drivers who are texting while driving.

Montlick & Associates has taken a very active role in educating the public about the dangers of texting while driving and reminding drivers while they are on the road. Our efforts include news segments, television messages, and billboards throughout Georgia. To learn more about our efforts, click here.

Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, have been representing those injured or killed in car accidents involving distracted drivers throughout Georgia for over 25 years. Our car accident lawyers in Georgia understand the stress and anxiety that accompanies being injured in a serious motor vehicle accident. If you or someone you love has been injured in a serious Georgia car crash, we can help. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, 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. Call us today 24/7 for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com where you can fill out our free case evaluation form or use our Live Online Chat. No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Auto Accidents

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.