Unfortunately, it is all too common nowadays to see other drivers looking down at their phones, even during a short trip.
Georgia has both hands-free laws and laws specifically banning texting while driving. However, distraction is still playing a significant role in many accidents and deaths on the road despite bans and laws.
Study finds distractions behind the wheel are still alarmingly high
It seems that drivers are still using their phones behind the wheel despite bans and the terrible risk, Bloomberg reported on a recent study. The article notes that distracted driving is 100% preventable, so why are people still engaged in distracted driving?
There are likely a few reasons, including:
- Many individuals are aware of the danger, but believe that they have the skill to multitask while driving;
- As we have discussed in past blog posts, the advent and enhancement of driver-assist technologies has led many drivers to rely on those technologies and allow themselves to become distracted; and
- Additionally, smartphones have an addictive effect on our brains that can make ignoring notifications extremely difficult, even behind the wheel.
The report did find some good news in Georgia. The rate of distracted driving in Georgia seems to have decreased by around 20% since the hands-free law passed last year. However, that does not mean that drivers should overlook the risk that still remains.
Distracted driving increases around this time of year
Overall, the summertime is the worst time of year for distracted driving. However, Bloomberg also reported that the rate of texting while driving spikes around the holidays as well, from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.
That is often on top of the rampant cognitive distractions that plague drivers during the holidays as well, as they worry about plans, travel and gifts even while they are driving.
What can you do?
Drivers can only control themselves when they are out on Georgia roads. It is up to them to ensure they avoid all distractions while behind the wheel. This can help drivers to:
- Create a habit of avoiding distractions;
- Stay defensive while driving, which increases the chances of seeing and avoiding other distracted drivers; and
- Set an example for their children, passengers and possibly other drivers.
Unfortunately, laws can only do so much when it comes to stopping distracted driving. The rest is up to drivers to practice discipline and reduce the risk of distracted driving.