A report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated that there was a 2.3 percent drop in the number of tragic deaths caused by vehicle crashes in the year 2018 from the 1540 deaths recorded in 2017. It was by far the most significant drop recorded showing good progress in following traffic rules. However, 1500 is still a considerable number to lose in through traffic deaths.
The Georgia Department of Transport identified that 70 percent of the crashes are a result of distractions, unsafe driving behaviors, speeding, and impaired driving. The Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety identified phone distraction as the top factor leading to pedestrian roads. On July 1, 2018, a hands-free law was passed in Georgia to curb this menace.
But has it helped to discourage the use of cellphones by motorists? With a large number of citations given a few months after passing the law, it only shows that people continue to use their phones while they drive.
Today mobile phones are multi-functional devices as people use them to surf the web, play games, and watch movies, among other functions. The practice of using these devices is widespread among young drivers, with teens leading the list.
In 2010 there was a ban in the practice of texting while driving. The effect was not felt on adults as it was geared more towards teens. However, the hands-free law broke the distinction between adults and teenagers making it easier to enforce it to everyone.
Even though it has become easier for law enforcers to police the use of phones, many people still do not want to put their phone down. The increase in the number of citations issued six months after passing the law is proof. Even then, other drivers are adapting and moving to hands-free technology such as Bluetooth. It shows there is still hope as people adapt to the changes.