Distracted driving is a serious problem in Georgia. Distracted driving occurs when people aren’t
paying 100 percent of their attention to driving their vehicle. People are killed and disfigured for
life every day as a result distracted driving. And not only does distracted driving endanger the
driver, it also endangers their passengers and innocent bystanders.
According to the Triple-A Foundation for Traffic Safety, distracted driving contributes to about 16
percent of all fatal crashes in the U.S. – which represents about 5,000 deaths every year.
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task
of driving. These types of distractions include texting, using a cell phone or smartphone, eating
and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading, looking at maps, using a navigation
system, watching a video, and adjusting the radio.
During this year’s legislative session, MAG supported a bill by Rep. Betty Price that would have
prohibited drivers in the state from holding a cell phone to text or talk while driving a motor
vehicle. H.B. 163 did not pass in 2017, but MAG will take an active role in a legislative committee
that will study distracted driving this summer.
Dr. Wilmer says that, “Distracted driving is spreading like a deadly cancer throughout Georgia. It
threatens all of us, including our spouses and our children and our friends. A fellow physician I
knew was killed by a distracted driver while he was riding his bike. In that instant, a family lost a
father, a husband, and their economic peace of mind. His 3,000 patients also lost a great doctor.”