The Text Can Wait: The Dangers of Distracted Driving
The ability to multitask is a great quality to add on a resume. It’s handy when you’re at work or home watching the kids, cooking dinner, and attempting to clean at the same time. However, it is nearly impossible to apply that same skill to texting on your phone while fully focusing on driving.
Texting while driving is negligent behavior that poses a real threat and danger to everyone on the road. Despite the numerous campaigns, billboards, and news stories that warn us of the dangers of texting and driving, drivers still use their cellphones behind the wheel.
Drivers oftentimes believe that responding to a text is harmless and are convinced they won’t get distracted. However, this is far from true. In recent years, texting while driving resulted in more deaths than drunk driving crashes.
The Dangers of Texting and Driving
In 2017, distracted driving claimed the lives of 3,166 individuals. Distracted driving is any activity that takes your focus off the road. This includes talking or texting on your cellphone, eating or drinking, reaching over to grab something that fell, or changing the radio station. Distracting driving is anything that diverts your attention away from driving.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, there are approximately 9 deaths and 1,000 injuries every day in the United States as a result of distracted driving. 26% of all motor vehicle collisions involve the use of a cellphone, and every year, the number of individuals that are injured increases.
Texting while driving, on average, takes your eyes off the road for approximately 4.6 seconds. While it may not seem like a long time, 4.6 seconds increases your chances of crashing by 23%.
Most victims of texting and driving car crashes are teenagers. The activity breaks concentration off the road and causes drivers to swerve in and out of their lanes as well as slows down reaction time. Texting and driving isn’t just about what you can “manage” but impacts and impairs every driver, regardless of age.
Georgia Laws and Penalties for Texting While Driving
Just last summer, Georgia’s Hands-Free Law went into effect banning drivers from having their phone in their hand or touching any part of their body while operating a vehicle. The law still allows drivers to talk on their phones if using Bluetooth or any other voice-operated technology. But if a cop catches you even pushing a button on your phone while driving, that’s an instant ticket.
Consequences for texting while driving differ from state to state. Generally, any type of distracted driving can lead to hefty fines, increased insurance rates, and points on your driving record. Worse penalties for texting and driving include suspension of your driver’s license, reckless driving convictions, or even vehicular homicide charges if it results in the death of another person.
Is Your Text Worth It?
Next time you are on the road and receive that red notification at the top corner of your message app, take a second to think if it’s worth it. In a day and age where the internet, communication, and entertainment are all easily accessible at our fingertips, we feel urgency to respond to messages that can wait.
While respond to a text message may not feel like that big of a deal, it’s a few seconds you’re not focuses that could lead to serious consequences. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash caused by a distracted driver, there’s no need for you to go through this on your own. Contact Butler Law Firm to get the help that you need.