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The hazard of using a cellphone while driving

While Georgia prohibits adults who are behind the wheel of a motor vehicle from a specific type of cellphone use, texting, many states have enacted bans on cellphone use altogether while driving. In large part, the reason that lawmakers in Georgia and other states enacted these bans is the troubling correlation between cellphone use while driving and traffic accidents resulting in death or injuries, as expounded by various statistics and studies.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving can be a mortal mistake. Reportedly, distracted drivers caused 18 percent of deadly traffic accidents throughout the country in 2010. In this way, distracted driving was responsible for the deaths of 3,092 people in total. In that same year, 2010, crashes attributed to distracted driving caused 416,000 people to suffer injuries, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports.

A Pew survey indicates that four out of every 10 teenagers in America have, by their own admission, been in a car whose driver put people at risk on account of perilous cellphone use. According to researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, motorists who text while driving are 23 times more likely than drivers who are not distracted to be involved in a car accident.

The FCC is working to raise awareness regarding the dangers of texting and driving and are encouraging parents to instruct their teenage children against the habit. It is sound advice, especially from a legal perspective. For, distracted drivers may not only face criminal charges in Georgia but also civil action in the event that they cause an accident that inflicts injuries or death upon the people involved. That is because individuals who suffer damages in connection with such a crash may retain a personal injury lawyer and file suit against the distracted driver, seeking restitution for economic damages related to the incident.

Source: fcc.gov, "The Dangers of Texting While Driving", September 12, 2014

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