Georgia has a new distracted driving law and the early indications are that the rate of traffic accidents has dropped. Fatalities from motor vehicle accidents fell over 3 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, according to one university research group. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety reported that preliminary data indicate a 7 percent decrease in fatalities. There has been a similar decline in injuries from vehicular claims.
The reports reflect that at least in part the improving figures are a result of the recently enacted Hands-Free Georgia Act, which prohibits motorists from holding phones while driving. The state has been focusing on various programs to combat distracted driving, including efforts to increase public awareness of the hazards involved. According to the research group’s testimony to state lawmakers, improved technology also helped.
The technological advances included hands-free devices and automatic braking. The recent trends represent a reverse of rapidly increasing accident and fatality rates in prior years. Those increases have been tied in part to distracted driving from the advent of cellphones. Experts predict further reductions from distracted driving as increased enforcement of new laws and increased public awareness continues.
Georgia vehicular accidents that are attributed to distracted driving usually involve negligence by the vehicle operator. Injured victims of distracted driving are therefore entitled to collect personal injury damages from the negligent operator. In the case of a deceased victim, the decedent’s estate is entitled to make a claim for wrongful death damages. When violation of a distracted driving law such as the hands-free law also is proved, it is easier for the claimant to prove negligence and collect damages. When motor vehicle accidents result in death or serious injury, the claimants will maximize their recoveries by acting early to obtain the experienced services of a personal injury attorney.