Despite Increasing Number of Distracted Driving Laws, Texting and Driving on the Rise


May 24, 2012

Georgia and many other states have enacted legislation to reduce the frequency of distracted driving accidents, especially those caused by mobile phones and other electronic devices.

Georgia has enacted legislation to restrict new teen drivers from using mobile phones while driving and recently passed a text ban for all drivers. Critics of these measures point out that these anti-mobile phone bans do not go far enough. These skeptics suggest that mobile phone laws permit so many uses of hand-held communication devices that limitations on texting and talking are unenforceable. These criticisms have been buttressed by the failure to extend such legislation to all drivers.

A new study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests that these criticisms may have validity because the federal agency reports that texting while driving has increased during the last year by fifty percent. The study found that almost twenty percent of drivers admit to texting while driving. The number of users jumps even higher for teen drivers. The study further revealed that most drivers will answer the phone and carry on a mobile phone conversation when driving.

While there was a three percent drop in traffic fatalities in 2010, the number of fatalities caused by driving distractions increased during the same period. The NHTSA indicates that driving distractions caused 3,100 deaths in 2010. These growing numbers are concerning because the increasing number of states that ban texting and driving appear to be ineffective. Currently, 35 states have banned texting while driving.

The constantly expanding uses of mobile phones have led to many drivers continuing to engage in unsafe mobile phone use that is not prohibited. Mobile phone uses that are not expressly prohibited include sending and receiving email, surfing the Internet, reading e-Books, watching videos and more. These other uses of mobile phones create two separate and distinct dangers to motorists. These uses are themselves highly distracting and create an independent risk of causing mobile phone-related collisions. Because these uses are not specifically prohibited, they also make enforcing bans on prohibited mobile phone uses more difficult. Law enforcement officers may have difficulty determining how a mobile phone is being used when determining whether to pull a vehicle over.

While the logical conclusion of this new study may be that the only way to really eliminate mobile phone-related collisions is to ban all use of mobile phones when driving, no state has yet gone this far. If you or a close family member has suffered serious injury or a loved one has died because of a distracted driver, our Georgia distracted driving lawyers are committed to providing effective legal representation for our clients.

Our car accident lawyers in Georgia 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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