Texting Laws and Facts You Need To Know

Deaths and Injuries Involving Distracted Driving

In a recent entry I led you to a website that showed you the tragic stories of children who had lost their lives as a result of distracted driving.  Today I thought I’d share with you some of the nationwide statistics on auto accidents that occur as a result of distracted driving.** 

  •   20 percent of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA).
  •   Using a cell phone while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver’s         reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent.   (Source: University of Utah)
  •   In 2009, there were 30,797 fatal crashes in the United States, which involved 45,230  drivers. In those crashes 33,808 people died.


        * *Unless specifically noted, distracted driving includes anything that may distract a driver while driving, such as but not limited to using a cell phone, eating, drinking, talking with passengers, grooming, reading, changing the radio station, using a navigation system or watching t.v.

       Georgia’s Laws

        So what are the cell phone and texting laws in Georgia?  Currently, there is not an all out ban on handheld cell phone use while driving; however, there are some restrictions.

  • Bus Drivers and Drivers under 18 – Completely banned from using cell phones while driving.  In fact, you can be pulled over and cited for using a cell phone without any other traffic offense if you fall into this category
  • All Drivers – Completely banned from texting while driving.*  Again, drivers may be pulled over and cited for texting while driving even without any other traffic offense having taken place. *

There are some exceptions to these restrictions, which may be found by going to www.gahighwaysafety.org/textingsafety  and reading the law prohibiting texting while driving.  

*This information was obtained from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) at www.ghsa.or/html/stateinfo/bystate/ga.html  

 Accident related statistics in Georgia may be found at www.gahighwaysafety.org/statistics/overall.html