It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that texting while driving a vehicle is a remarkably bad idea. The results may be deadly for both the texter and the person they hit.
Adults don’t generally try to text while they are driving; most likely due to the fact they realize it’s not a very smart move. Teens and inexperienced younger drivers, however, have a disturbing record for attempting to text while handling a car on the road. The consequences are not pretty. Consider the statistics that show 5,000 teenagers killed annually in traffic accidents. This isn’t to say they were all caused by the drivers foolishly texting while driving, but a significant proportion of that number were doing precisely that at the time of the collision that killed them.
Even more disturbing than those figures, another 2,500 people were also killed by vehicles driven by teens doing a variety of things like talking on a cell phone, yakking to their friends in the backseat or attempting to reply to an email with their Blackberry. Inattention kills. It’s just that simple. This nationwide problem is being dealt with in various ways by each state. If you’re unsure what the law says in your state, consult with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Some states are getting downright innovative in trying to address the problem of texting teens. For instance, New York recently voted to bring in a bill that not only bans texting while driving (statewide) but kicks up the license requirements for younger drivers. For instance, the practice driving that teens do with an adult prior to a road test and getting a junior license has been substantially increased. It went from 20 hours to 50 hours and added in 15 hours of night driving. In addition, a learner’s permit must be held for six months before a junior license is issued.
When it comes to the infamous Blackberries and various assorted pagers, personal digital assistance, laptops, gaming devices and other two-way messaging systems, they are simply banned outright, with the exception of being used for “emergency” situations. Of course, what constitutes an emergency for one person may not be an emergency for another. Fines run to $150. Interestingly enough, there is one odd exclusion and that is iPods. We’re not sure why those weren’t banned either, as listening to an iPod while driving means emergency vehicles can’t be heard and the driver can’t react appropriately to allow them to pass.
There is no doubt that text and driving don’t mix. Even in the state of Georgia there is a problem with this kind of irresponsible activity. Unfortunately Georgia only has a cell phone ban, but nothing in place for texting. Would a texting ban be a good piece of legislation to bring into effect in Georgia? Undoubtedly it would be; the question is what would it take to make that happen?
In many instances new legislation addressing problems like texting while driving doesn’t come into being until there have been a number of fatal accidents that highlight the behavior as a problem. While that’s a rough way to introduce lifesaving legislation, it may be what happens in Georgia’s case unless someone wants to advocate for change now.
Tim Anderson works with Atlanta Personal Injury attorney, Stephen M. Ozcomert. The firm specializes in personal injury, malpractice, motorcycle accidents, and wrongful death. To learn more about Atlanta personal injury lawyer, Stephen M. Ozcomert or Atlanta personal injury, Atlanta personal injury lawyer, Atlanta personal injury attorney, visit Ozcomert.com.