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Distracted Drivers: The New DUI

In July 2010, the State of Georgia became one of many States to enact laws to curb the effect of distracted drivers on the roadway. The State legislature enacted O.C.G.A. §40-6-241.2 to prohibit the use of a wireless telecommunications device while driving by classifying the act as a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to twelve months in jail and a $150 fine. However, the enforcement of this statute has proven to be difficult because it only prohibits text messages, instant messaging, e-mail and internet data. One can still dial phone numbers while driving and it is virtually impossible for officers to determine the difference. Despite the challenges of enforcing distracted driver laws, the need for such laws is becoming more evident with each passing year. According to the website, a total of 3,000 people were killed by distracted drivers in 2011. The National Safety Council estimates the current risk assessment of all mobile device-related crashes at $43 billion. Millions of dollars have been awarded for serious injuries caused by distracted drivers. Increasingly, similar to drunk driving, the grave, unintended consequences of distracted driving are being realized almost daily by both the innocent victims who are injured and the inattentive drivers who face incarceration along with a lifetime of regret. Douglasville Personal Injury Attorneys are here to consult and represent clients who have been injured due to the negligence of distracted drivers.