Update: Mixed results of state’s fight against distracted driving

| May 10, 2019 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Previous posts on this blog have talked about how Georgia’s relatively recent law that targets texting and driving seemed to be having its intended effect.

However, additional data, which includes information from the current calendar year, unfortunately suggests otherwise. According to this data, Georgia actually ranked among the worst states for distracted driving, second only to one other state.

Frustratingly, the rate of distracted driving, specifically using one’s cell phone while driving, has increased in this state when comparing this calendar year to 2018. In 2019, about 8% of an average motorist’s time behind the wheel was spent with the motorist doing something on her phone. This is an increase of about 2%, as a hair over 6% of a Georgia’s driver’s time was spent on her phone in 2018.

To put these numbers in perspective, 8% equates to about 5 minutes per hour. This means that for several minutes per hour traveled, a typical Georgia driver likely does not have either his mind or his eyes on the road. Although this 5 minutes of distraction is an estimate and may not take place in one block of time, it only takes a few seconds of inattention for a driver to cause a severe motor vehicle accident.

Another interesting point about this data is that distracted driving, unlike drunk driving, appears to be a problem that plagues motorists during working hours, particularly around the time of the evening commute. The rate of distracted driving peaks at about 4 p.m. every day and then trails off rapidly.

In any event, Georgia drivers have a way to go when it comes to putting their cellular phones down and paying attention to the road. If a Georgia driver causes an accident by texting and driving, then she can be held legally accountable to pay compensation to her victims.