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Distracted driving in Georgia: What you should know

Georgia law bans texting while driving for all drivers, and bus drivers and teen drivers are prohibited from using cell phones for any purpose while behind the wheel. The reality, though, is that many motorists continue to put lives at risk by ignoring distracted driving laws, and victims deserve full and fair compensation after being injured by a distracted driver.

As is the case with drunk driving, it takes ongoing law enforcement, education and public support to prevent distracted driving accidents. Crash statistics from recent years should serve as a wake-up call to anyone who still thinks it's acceptable to drive distractedly.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10 percent of fatal accidents nationwide in 2012 were distraction-related, and that same year 3,328 people died in accidents involving a distracted driver. A year later the distracted-driving death toll was 3,154.

In many cases, the survivors of these crashes face a lifetime of dealing with injuries. In fact, it is estimated that 421,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents in 2012, and in 2013 another 424,000 people were injured.

While distracted driving can take many forms -- talking to passengers, eating, grooming, changing a CD, etc. -- texting while driving is generally understood to be the most dangerous -- potentially just as dangerous as driving while drunk. So why is texting while driving so risky?

When you text and drive, you are distracted in three ways: manually, visually and cognitively. You need use of all three of these faculties in order to safely operate a motor vehicle. Essentially, texting and driving makes a person blind to the road.

We can rely on statistics to indicate just how devastating distracted driving can be, but only when you speak with an injured victim or the family of a victim do you really understand the impact on human beings and how much accident victims need and deserve compensation.

For more on covering the cost of medical bills, lost income and other costs resulting from a distracted driving accident, please see our overview of motor vehicle accidents.

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