Like many other states, Georgia has a ban on the use of cellphones while driving. The statewide law, which was passed in 2018, prohibits the handling of cellphones for any reason. That's unless a cellphone is mounted, connected to a hands-free device, or used for emergency purposes.
Georgia law enforcement officers have issued more than 40,000 citations to drivers caught holding cellphones. Yet, the message still doesn't get across to all drivers. Many drivers don't think they'll ever get caught.
Recent research conducted by insurance marketplace website The Zebra found that reading something on a cellphone and texting were the two leading distracted driving activities. The Zebra surveyed roughly 2,600 drivers in 25 cities across the United States.
Nearly 82 percent of participants said it was OK to use a cellphone as long as it is set to speakerphone or connected to a hands-free device. More than 64 percent said it was OK to use cellphones to program GPS navigation. Shockingly, another 23 percent said they used cellphones because "driving is boring," and 30 percent said that they're able to text without taking their eyes off the road.
The survey also asked participants across several cities (including Atlanta) how often they used cellphones within the average 30 minute commute. The maximum score was 100.
New York City ranked the worst city for distracted driving with a score of 43.7 and Seattle ranked the best with a score of 29.5. Atlanta ranked somewhere in the middle with a score of 34.6.
Other ways drivers get distracted
Cellphones aren't the only form of distraction for drivers, however. Some drivers obey the cellphone bans, but drive distracted in other ways. Distracted driving can involve any activity that causes drivers to take their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel and attention away from the task of driving.
Some of the (rather gross) distracted driving activities participants admitted to that didn't involve cellphones included:
- Picking nose —47% of participants admitted to this
- Eating a meal — 36% of participants admitted to this
- Kissing someone — 36% of participants admitted to this
- Changing clothes while driving — 27% of participants admitted to this
- Cleaning dashboard or windows — 25% of participants admitted to this
- Brushing hair — 17.5% of participants admitted to this
- Applying makeup and deodorant — 15% of participants admitted to this
- Engaging in sexual activity — 15% of participants admitted to this
Should I hire an attorney if I was injured in a car accident with a distracted driver?
Driving may not be the most exciting task, especially for those who commute the same route every day. Drivers still have one simple duty: to stay attentive and consider the safety of themselves and others. Those who fail to stay attentive can be held accountable when their actions cause someone else's injury or death.
That's why the Atlanta car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays & Associates, P.C. are dedicated to helping crash victims and their families get the justice and compensation they deserve. If you were hurt in a crash, simply contact us online. Our case evaluations are free and confidential.