While almost all (98 percent) drivers in Georgia, U.S. are aware of a new state law that bans the use of handheld phones, many road users are still seeing fellow drivers holding a phone (75 percent) or texting (60 percent), according to the AAA – The Auto Club Group.

The Georgia Hands-Free Law, which took effect on July 1, allows drivers to talk on their phones without having it in their hands or supported by their body. Drivers cannot write, read or send text messages, e-mails, social media or any other material on the internet. Yet, in the recent 2018 Georgia Distracted Driving Survey, AAA members said they see other drivers disobeying the law “regularly to fairly often”.

“While hands-free applications allow a driver to keep their hands on the wheel, this may unintentionally provide motorists a false sense of security behind the wheel. Mental distractions – anything that takes the driver’s mind off the task of driving—are just as dangerous as taking your eyes off the road or hands off the wheel,” said Garrett Townsend, Georgia Public Affairs Director, AAA. “With more than 900 deaths on Georgia roadways year to date, AAA urges motorists to limit distractions while driving, to ensure everyone gets to their destination safely.”

The AAA recommends that drivers:

  • Put aside electronic distractions and avoid the use of text messaging, email, video games or internet functions, including those built into the vehicle.
  • Pre-program GPS and adjust seats, mirrors, climate controls and sound systems before driving.
  • Properly secure children and pets and store loose possessions and other items that could roll around in the car.
  • Snack smart by avoiding messy foods that can be difficult to manage while behind the wheel.

The 2018 Georgia Distracted Driving Survey was conducted online among Georgia AAA members with a driver’s license from August 6 – 14, 2018. Click here to view the complete survey.