The Hands-Free Georgia Act passed into law in the State of Georgia in 2018. The law’s main provision prohibits motorist from using hand-held devices while driving.
Is there any evidence that the law has reduced traffic accidents and deaths in the state?
Traffic deaths decrease
According to a report from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety the number of traffic deaths dropped in 2018. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 1504 traffic deaths in Georgia in 2018, a decrease pf 2.3 percent from the previous year. The director of the GGOHS believed that the Hands-Free Georgia Act contributed to this decline and that continued enforcement of the law would be beneficial. The director also stated that continued education will get more drivers to comply with the law. Georgia also saw a six percent drop in passenger car fatalities, dropping to 994 deaths in 2018. The Georgia statistics mirrored a nationwide decline which saw traffic deaths decline by 2.4 percent for a total of 36,560 deaths in the U.S. in 2018.
Pedestrian deaths rise
Across the nation, and in Georgia, pedestrian traffic deaths continued a rising trend in 2018. According to a NHTSA press release, pedestrian deaths by vehicles rose 3.4 percent in 2018. The majority of these deaths (76 percent) occurred after dark and while the pedestrian did not cross at an intersection. Just over a third of the pedestrians had alcohol in their systems at the time of death. The press release did not address the role of distracted driving in these pedestrian deaths.
For more information on the Hands-Free Georgia Act click on this link.