“Distraction Driving” Equals Dangerous Driving

The statistical evidence regarding automobile accidents continues to demonstrate that drivers who are distracted while driving are dangerous drivers likely to be involved in accidents. Texting while driving, using cell phones while driving and other distractive driving problems continue to cause more and more accidents on our highways and more and more injuries to innocent third parties endangered by such conduct.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2008, there were a total of 34,017 fatal crashes in which 37,261 individuals died. Sixteen percent (16%) of the total fatalities were due to driver distraction. The proportion of drivers reportedly distracted at the time of the fatal crashes increased from eight percent (8%) in 2004 to eleven percent (11%) in 2008. This is hardly surprising because more and more drivers are using their cell phones and are texting while driving. Drivers under the age of 20 had the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes according to NHTSA sixteen percent (16%). Again, this statistic is hardly surprising because those who seem to use their cell phones the most and/or text while driving are the younger drivers on the road.
Of the 1,630 injury crashes reported throughout the United States, NHTSA estimates that an astounding twenty-one percent (21%) involved distracted driving.
Many states have banned the use of handheld devices while driving. These include California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington and the Virgin Islands. A texting ban exists Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Guam. Notably, no such ban for either form of distracted driving exists in Georgia.
Based on the statistical evidence released by NHTSA, it is clear that the Georgia Legislature should enact laws to protect innocent members of the motoring public from distracted drivers. Until and unless such legislation is enacted, this problem will likely continue to mount and more and more innocent third parties will either be killed or seriously injured by such conduct. Stop if you are doing either!

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