Hands-free device ban proposed in Georgia for the third time

To minimize the number of accidents that occur as a result of distracted driving on the roads in Georgia, a lawmaker in the state is proposing a bill for the third time that would require drivers to use a hands-free device, instead of holding their cellphone with their hands, to make a call, states CBS 46. If this bill were to become law, drivers caught using their cellphone without a hands-free device and engaging in this form ofdriver negligence would be fined $150.

Hands-free devices are still dangerous

Although banning handheld cellphone use in Georgia could potentially minimize the number of drivers who are seriously injured or killed in distracted driving-related collisions, research suggests that hands-free communication systems still put the lives of drivers, pedestrians and passengers at risk. For example, according to two separate studies released by the University of Utah and the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, researchers found that hands-free systems are often so complex that they require drivers to devote a significant amount of attention to them while they are operating a vehicle.

In one of these studies, the infotainment systems in some of the most common auto brands were tested by participants in three different driving settings and rated on a distraction scale of one to five, with five being the most distracting and one representing no distraction. Of the systems tested, the ones that received the worst ratings were the ones that made mistakes, even if the driver issued clear commands. For instance, during one of the tests, a driver requested to make a call to a certain number, but the system ended up dialing 911 instead.

Any form of distraction puts drivers at risk

Although cellphone use in a vehicle has been proven to be unsafe, whether hands-free or handheld, any form of distraction can threaten the lives of other drivers, passengers and pedestrians. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, distracted driving involves any activity that takes a driver's full focus away from driving a vehicle. For example, a driver can become distracted when he or she eats, talks to someone on a cellphone or switches to different stations on the radio.

The extent of the problem

Distracted driving-related collisions are a common problem on the roads in Georgia and throughout the country. The CDC states that every day, nine people are killed and over 1,000 are injured in collisions caused by distraction. If you sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident, speak with an attorney to find out what legal steps you should take next.

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