With today's impressive technologies, the constant use of cell phones has become second nature for most Georgia residents. Although these devices have clear benefits, those benefits do not add up when put behind the wheel of a car. A short text or call may seem harmless, but changes in Georgia laws remind drivers that just a few seconds of distraction could alter one's life forever.
Earlier this month, WSB-TV announced that Georgia's governor had taken steps to reduce distracted driving in the state. Governor Nathan Deal signed a distracted driving bill at Georgia Southern University that would make it illegal to hold a cell phone while driving. The university marked the location of a horrific texting and driving accident that resulted in the deaths of five nursing students in 2016. Rather than allowing residents to see the changes as an act of oppression, the governor reminded locals that the efforts aimed to keep Georgia's drivers as safe as possible.
Unfortunately, the fatal crash that claimed the lives of the aforementioned five students was not the only influence behind the bill. AJC News revealed in October 2017 that fatalities from actions such as texting and driving had increased in the state over recent years. More specifically, deaths rose by a third from 2014 to 2016, with over 1,500 fatalities occurring in 2016. Nationwide, deaths due to distracted driving increased by 14 percent. Speeding and alcohol were additional factors involved in these crashes. While thousands of drivers face deadly accidents as a result of inattention on the road, safety experts have worked to create technologies that do not distract, but instead protect drivers from such dangerous practices.