When drivers in Georgia get behind the wheel of a vehicle, many believe that they can successfully drive and participate in other activities. According to a recent survey conducted by AT&T, more than a quarter of the participants said that they could easily do several things at once, even while driving. This same number of drivers also reported that their driving performance is not affected by texting. However, drivers who multitask behind the wheel often cause auto accidents that result in serious consequences for those involved.
One of the reasons why many drivers may believe that they can engage in other activities while driving is because of the many myths that surround multitasking. According to the National Safety Council, these include some of the following:
- Talking on a cellphone is no different than talking to a passenger – In a 2008 study cited by the University of Utah, researchers found that drivers who talk on their cellphone are more oblivious to changing traffic conditions. This is because they are the only ones involved in the conversation who are aware of the road.
- Hands-free devices eliminate distraction – regardless of whether a driver speaks to another person on a cellphone or in-person, the level of distraction to the brain remains the same. According to a study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University, activity in the parietal lobe can decrease by up to 37 percent when a person listens to language. This is the area of the brain that is responsible for processing the movement of visual images.
- The brain was designed to multitask – When a driver multitasks, the brain does not process the two activities simultaneously. Instead, it rapidly switches between them.
Some drivers may also believe that drivers who talk on cellphones are still able to react better to various situations than drunk drivers. However, another study conducted by the University of Utah found that drivers using cellphones had slower reaction times than those with a blood alcohol content level of 0.08.
Cellphone use laws in Georgia
To reduce the number of car accidents caused by distraction that result in serious injuries, the state of Georgia has enacted several laws related to cellphone use. According to Distraction.gov, drivers of all ages are prohibited from texting behind the wheel. Additionally, bus drivers and novice drivers are not allowed to use hands-free or handheld devices while driving.
Despite these laws, many drivers, passengers and pedestrians in Georgia are still injured or killed in distracted driving-related accidents regularly. If you sustained injuries in a car accident, speak with an attorney in your area to determine what you can do to protect your legal rights.