It is well known that drinking and driving is discouraged in our society. However, this is not the only form of distracted driving. Texting, eating and talking are other behaviors that make Georgia highways unsafe for drivers and pedestrians alike. Distracted driving has caused Georgia to have a rise in highway fatalities for the first time in nine years.
Fatal accidents are up by 12 percent from the same time in 2014 in the state of Georgia. The National Safety Council reported that distracted driving is up nationally by 14 percent. Between January and June of 2015 there have been 19,000 individuals that died in highway fatalities in the state. An AT&T study found that 70 percent of smart phone users reported that they were distracted drivers. Texting and emailing rank as the top causes of distracted driving, and Facebook is the social media platform of choice for distracted phone users.
Georgia officials believe that apathy is the biggest cause of the increase in deaths caused by distracted drivers. Most do not believe that they are actually bad drivers. They believe that they are still able to proficiently operate their vehicles while engaging in these behaviors. Officials are working to educate citizens with the hope of saving lives.
In the meantime, distracted driving allegations may mean facing serious charges. There may be mitigating circumstances that should be taken into consideration at trial. First time offenders may also have alternative punishments that are available to them.
Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, “Ga. Officials: Distracted driving likely tied to more highway deaths,” Steve Visser, Aug. 19, 2015