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State Officials Urging Drivers to Eliminate All Distractions

Although they might not want to admit it, the reality for many people is that they can't go more than day -- or even a few hours -- without using their smartphone in some capacity.

While this constant checking of smartphones is generally harmless, it can rapidly cross the line into dangerous when it carries over to the act of driving. Unfortunately, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show this happens far too often.

Indeed, the CDC found that 69 percent of motorists between the ages of 18-64 confessed to talking on their smartphones while driving, while 31 percent confessed to emailing or texting while driving.

As if these figures weren't frightening enough, consider that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has determined that that texting while driving increases the risk of a car accident by 23-fold, while 18 percent of all fatal car accidents in the U.S. can be attributed to some form of distracted driving.

In recognition of this very real safety issue, officials from both the Governor's Office of Highway Safety and the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association recently came together to announce that April is Distracted Driving Month here in the Peach State, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the dangers of allowing the use of technology to take precedence over safe driving.

If you question the need for such a campaign, consider that the GTLA has determined that in 2014 Georgia saw 8,581 car crashes caused by distracted driving resulting in 3,298 personal injuries and 19 fatalities.

It's important to remember that state law expressly prohibits texting while driving by all motorists, while novice drivers (under 18) are prohibited from using a smartphone in any capacity behind the wheel.

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