We’ve all done it. We feel our phones vibrate in our pockets while driving and take a look to see who’s texting us. After all, it could be important, right? We may even fire off a quick reply if the situation calls for it. While sending a text or two while driving may not seem like a big deal, it ranks with driving under the influence of alcohol among the most dangerous driving behaviors. Given the dangers of texting and driving, it’s no surprise that the practice causes thousands of motor vehicle accidents every year. Drivers who have been injured due to texting and driving should speak to a Tifton car accident attorney to discuss their options for seeking compensation.
Texting While Driving Is Common and Deadly
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, sending or reading a text message while driving takes the driver’s eyes off the road for about five seconds. That doesn’t seem like very long, but at 55 miles per hour, it’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with one’s eyes closed. Unfortunately, texting and driving leads to a significant number of car accidents and severe injuries. In 2021, a total of 3,522 people were killed and over 360,000 were injured in accidents involving distracted driving. That accounts for 8% of all fatal crashes and 14% of all crashes involving injuries.
Texting While Driving Involves All Three Types of Driving Distractions
Any action that takes a driver’s attention away from the road can be a form of distracted driving. Those distractions fall into three major categories:
- Visual distractions: distractions that take a driver’s eyes off the road, such as reading a text, checking a GPS navigation system, and checking what song is playing.
- Manual distractions: distractions that take a driver’s hands off the wheel, such as replying to a text, eating, or searching for a lost item on the floor of the vehicle.
- Cognitive distractions: distractions that take a driver’s concentration away from the road, such as considering a reply to a text, talking with other passengers, and daydreaming.
As you can see, texting and driving is dangerous because it involves all three types of driving distractions.
Texting While Driving Is Illegal in Georgia
Texting and other types of phone use while driving have been illegal in Georgia since 2018. Georgia’s hands-free law generally prohibits the following actions:
- Holding a phone in the hand or using any part of the body to support a phone
- Reading, writing, and/or sending text-based communications
- Watching videos (other than navigation systems)
- Recording videos (other than continuous dash cam recording)
- Touching a phone to activate or program streaming music apps
Of course, there are exceptions — most notably that drivers may physically handle their phones while driving to report an accident, medical emergency, fire, criminal act, or hazardous road condition. Drivers may also physically handle their phones while they are lawfully parked. However, this does NOT include phone usage while stopped for traffic signals.
Recover From an Accident With Help From a Tifton Car Accident Attorney
If you were injured in an accident involving texting and driving, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries. To learn how, please contact a Tifton car accident attorney at the Hudson Injury Firm by calling 229-396-5848 or using our online form.