According to a new AAA survey, 75 percent of Georgia participants witnessed some type of distracted driving in the form of texting and/or talking. The Hands-Free Georgia Act took effect on July 1 so now, we are still in the learning curve phase. The bigger question is, will we as Georgians ever get out of the learning curve phase? Only time will tell. What is the answer to this dilemma? Increased patrols? Higher fines when distracted drivers get caught? There’s no doubt that this law is tough for authorities to enforce, so I suppose, we need to rely on overall cultural change.
When it comes to texting and driving, I like to loosely quote the band Chicago, “You’re a hard habit to break.” Let’s face the fact that most of society has an addiction of one form or another with their Smartphones which honestly do so much for us these days including talking, texting, Facebooking, Twittering, Snapchatting, banking, exercise tracking, traffic navigating, video viewing and much more. That dependency will only grow as technology continues to advance.
Still, safety advocates say that any phone use while driving is dangerous. Even if one is a decent multi-tasker, a part of the mind is taken off the task of driving. I’m not sure if I agree with that assessment. Some folks can handle more tasks at once than others. It seems that there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to this issue. Some could argue that operating the radio, MP3 player or even that old piece of tech, the CD player – is all a distraction. Others argue that looking around at other drivers to see if they’re distracted, is a distraction in and of itself! Again, the word balance is key here.
For me, with the phone mounted in a good place, one can take calls and use apps like Waze to get around town. Still, I do my best to limit the time that I use the app.
How can we peacefully co-exist with our environment and technology? Now, there doesn’t seem to be a solution. Is there anything good that has come out of the new distracted driving law? According to that very AAA survey, a whopping 98 percent of the participants claimed that they are aware of the law’s existence.