Lawmakers Taking Aim at Reducing Auto Accidents Caused by Electronic Devices


July 25, 2011

Georgia has made strides in combating distracted driving caused by electronic devices including cell phones, iPads, laptop computers and other devices that increasingly are drawing driver’s attention from the road and causing serious distracted driving accidents.

Georgia recently enacted a law that prohibits talking on cell phones by drivers under 18 while driving, and prohibits texting while driving for all drivers. However, House Bill 67 that would have prohibited all use of cell phones with the exception of hands-free calls died in the state legislature during the 2011 session.

With the number of apps now available for cell phones, talking and text messaging constitute a diminishing portion of cell phone use. This recognition has led New York to propose what might be the most aggressive proposed legislation to avoid distracted driving accidents caused by electronic devices. New York is trying to pass legislation that would make it a violation to even look at an electronic device while driving. This legislation is aimed at curtailing a wide variety of uses of electronic devices while driving including:

  • Reading on an iPad, Kindle, Nook or other e-reader
  • Surfing the Internet
  • Playing video games
  • Watching multi-media like movies, television or YouTube

Distracted driving caused by electronic devices is one of the fastest growing causes of car accidents in Georgia and throughout the U.S. With the number of apps growing at exponential speed, measures that only address texting or calling may be outdated and ineffective. The New York law is an acknowledgement of the growing influence of electronic devices in every aspect of our lives. Some apps are being developed to discourage cell phone use while driving, but their use is voluntary.

A number of technological developments have been proposed that would disable wi-fi and our cell phone signals inside vehicles. These safeguards along with legislation proposed that would prohibit ANY use of electronic devices while driving might reduce the risk of serious Atlanta and Georgia auto accidents caused by distracted drivers. However, this approach has some stumbling blocks. Many users of cell phones and iPads are using these electronic devices for purposes that some are hesitant to ban like GPS or playing music. It is unclear how enforcement of the New York law would impact use of devices for purposes like these.

While it is unclear whether changes in safety technology or legislation or a combination of both is the best way to address the problem of distracted driving, it is clear that this a problem that will continue to grow in response to the growing pervasiveness of these electronic devices and the apps that increase their use. If you or someone you love has been involved in a Georgia auto accident with a distracted driver, contact the experienced Georgia auto accident lawyers at Montlick & Associates. We have been protecting the legal rights of people injured or killed in auto accidents for over 27 years.

Our Atlanta Georgia auto accident lawyers are available to assist clients 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 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.

Category: Auto Accidents

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