Distracted driving is beginning to rival drunken driving in the number of nationwide fatal car accidents. There are many things that could distract a driver: Changing the radio station, eating, children in the car. One major reason drivers are distracted lies in the technology many of us keep in our pockets – smartphones. Georgia, like many states, recently enacted a ban on texting while driving with the intention of saving lives and preventing injuries. The law went into effect on July 1st, 2018 and prevents drivers from actively talking without a hands-free headset or texting or otherwise using their smartphones while driving. According to one expert, the law has already had an effect, as the Atlanta Journal and Constitution reports.
According to a report from an insurance adjuster to state lawmakers, Georgia’s new distracted driving law has led to a decrease in insurance claims, fatalities, and injuries.
In 2018, fatalities fell 3.4% when compared to the year previous. This is according to Robert Hartwig, who is the director of the Center for Risk and Uncertainty Management at the University of South Carolina.
The University’s finding mirrors statistics, which are preliminary, that were released by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, which reported a 7% drop.
The frequency of accidents involving injuries has also fallen over the past three quarters.
These new trends have so far reversed an increase in injurious and fatal traffic accidents that many experts blamed on distracted driving.
The downward trend actually began before the law took effect, but Hartwig says that could be the effect of public awareness of the Hands-Free Georgia Act.
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