There is no doubt that texting and driving and other distracted driver behaviors place people at risk of becoming injured or dying in car accidents. In Georgia and throughout the U.S., legislators and law enforcement are keenly aware of the potential for damage that can come with these types of car crashes and steps are being taken to stop drivers from doing it. Research is also critical to understanding what is effective and what is not when stopping texting and driving. A new study indicates that outlawing the practice is a useful tactic.

The research shows that states where there was a complete ban on texting and driving reduced the number of people who were injured in car accidents by 8 percent. One of the researchers, a professor at Texas A&M, states that although people think these laws can be inconvenient, there is proof that they work. More stringent enforcement is a way to get people to behave more vigilantly on the road and pay attention to what they are doing when driving instead of what their smartphone is doing.

There are two kinds of bans that states use – primary and secondary. With a primary ban, if a law enforcement officer sees a driver texting, that is sufficient to make a traffic stop. With a secondary ban, another violation must take place in conjunction with the texting and driving to warrant a stop. For its part, Georgia is one state that bans all texting behind the wheel.

In the study, the researchers looked at 16 states and their statistics from 2007 to 2014. It then compared their laws with the number of accidents and injuries that needed emergency room treatment. There was an average reduction of more than 1,600 of these injuries in states that had a primary ban. This information dovetails with the recommendations of the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) that says all drivers should be prevented by law from using their handheld devices behind the wheel.

When there is a crash in Georgia, the problem of distracted driving has become so prevalent that there is an automatic assumption that the other driver in the accident was using his or her device behind the wheel. Despite the law, people still insist on multitasking and using the devices while driving. After car accidents with injuries and fatalities, the expenses and personal impact can be enormous. Having legal help when considering a lawsuit after car accidents is helpful.