The High Cost of Texting Behind the Wheel in Georgia

Distracted driving, particularly texting while driving, has become a major concern on Georgia’s roads. Despite efforts to raise awareness and enforce laws against this dangerous practice, many drivers continue to engage in this risky behavior, putting themselves and others at risk. In this article, we will explore the high costs associated with texting behind the wheel in Georgia, from legal consequences to the devastating impact on lives.

The Dangers of Texting While Driving

Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. When a driver takes their eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, they significantly increase the risk of causing an accident. According to the NHTSA, reading or sending a text message takes an average of five seconds. At a speed of 55 miles per hour, that’s equivalent to driving 120 yards with your eyes closed.

Distracted driving, including texting, claimed over 3000 lives in the United States in 2019 alone. In Georgia, distracted driving accidents have become all too common, with thousands of crashes reported each year. These accidents often result in serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and even fatalities.

Georgia’s Laws Against Texting While Driving

To combat the growing problem of distracted driving, Georgia has implemented strict laws against texting while behind the wheel. The Hands-Free Georgia Act, which went into effect on July 1, 2018, prohibits drivers from holding or supporting any wireless telecommunication device or stand-alone electronic device while operating a motor vehicle.

Under this law, drivers are not allowed to:

  • Write, send, or read any text-based communication, including text messages, instant messages, and email
  • Watch videos or movies other than GPS navigation
  • Record or broadcast video

Violating the Hands-Free Georgia Act can result in fines and points on a driver’s license. First-time offenders face a $50 fine and one point on their license. Second-time offenders within a 24-month period face a $100 fine and two points, while third-time offenders within 24 months face a $150 fine and three points.

The Financial Impact of Texting-Related Accidents

Beyond the legal consequences, texting while driving can have a significant financial impact on those involved in accidents. Medical expenses for injuries sustained in distracted driving crashes can quickly add up, particularly for those who suffer severe or life-altering injuries. In addition to medical bills, accident victims may face lost wages due to time away from work, as well as ongoing rehabilitation and therapy costs.

Moreover, drivers who cause accidents while texting may be held liable for damages in civil lawsuits. This can include compensatory damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages in cases where the driver’s behavior was particularly reckless or egregious.

The Emotional Toll of Texting-Related Accidents

Perhaps the most devastating cost of texting while driving is the emotional toll it takes on those involved in accidents and their loved ones. Serious injuries can lead to a lifetime of pain, disability, and reduced quality of life. In the worst cases, families may lose a loved one due to a driver’s decision to text behind the wheel.

The emotional trauma of a distracted driving accident can last long after physical wounds have healed. Survivors may struggle with anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other mental health challenges. Family members of those injured or killed may also experience profound grief, anger, and a sense of loss that can be difficult to overcome.

Preventing Texting While Driving

To avoid the high costs of texting while driving, it is crucial for drivers to make a commitment to safe driving practices. This includes:

  • Putting your phone out of reach or turning it off while driving
  • Pulling over to a safe location if you need to send a text or make a call
  • Using hands-free devices or voice-activated features if absolutely necessary
  • Encouraging your friends and family to avoid distracted driving

By making a conscious effort to prioritize safety on the road, drivers can help prevent accidents, save lives, and avoid the devastating consequences of texting behind the wheel.

Seeking Help After a Distracted Driving Accident

If you’ve been injured in a distracted driving accident in Georgia, it is essential to seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. At Monge & Associates, we understand the physical, emotional, and financial challenges that accident victims face, and we are committed to fighting for the compensation our clients deserve.

For more information about your legal rights and options after a texting-related accident, contact Monge & Associates today. We have 32 offices in 19 states, including Georgia, Utah, and Nebraska. Call now for a free consultation on (888) 477-0597.