AAA: 30 Days in to Hands Free Ban, GA Drivers Still Texting and Driving
Awareness of the law does not equal driver compliance
ATLANTA, Ga. (August 28, 2018) — Nearly all (98%) Georgia drivers are aware of the new state law that bans the use of handheld phones, according to a recent AAA survey. Yet, most AAA members are reporting seeing other drivers holding a phone (75%) and texting (60%) regularly to fairly often while behind the wheel.
The Georgia Hands-Free Law, which took effect on July 1, does allow 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, however, voice-to-text communication is legal.
“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 – The Auto Club Group. “With more than 900 deaths on Georgia roadways roadways year to date, AAA urges motorists to limit distractions while driving, to ensure everyone gets to their destination safely.”
Tasks that require a driver to take their eyes or attention off the road should be avoided while the vehicle is in motion- including the use of cellphones, infotainment systems, or navigation systems.
AAA urges drivers to act responsibly when behind the wheel. In order to avoid distractions, drivers should:
- 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 your 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.
About The Auto Club Group
The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9.4 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 59 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. Visit AAA on the Internet at AAA.com.
About the AAA Member Survey
The 2018 Georgia Distracted Driving Survey was conducted online among Georgia AAA Member with a driver’s license from August 6 – 14, 2018. A total of 1,171 residents completed the survey. The survey has a maximum margin of error of ±2.9 percentage points. Responses are weighted by gender, age, and tenure to ensure reliable and accurate representation of AAA Members (18+) in Georgia. Click here to view the complete survey.