With a record 46 million expected to take to the highways for the July 4th holiday, Wayne Hogan appeared on First Coast Connect on July 3rd to discuss safety on the roadways and distracted driving with Melissa Ross.

Drivers in Georgia are now subject to its Hands-free Law that went into effect July 1. It prohibits handheld phone use – or using of any part of the body to support the phone – when receiving or making calls. Calls using wireless headphones, speakerphones, earpieces or phones connected to vehicles or electronic watches are permitted.

While Georgia’s new law is a step in the right direction, Hogan said not using the phone behind the wheel – either handheld or hands-free – is the safest option. It prevents brain distraction, the brain switching from the task of driving to the task of communicating with someone miles away. Focusing on the call and leaving the car to essentially drive itself, is to rely on pure luck. Brain distraction is essentially brain blindness; the eye sees but the brain doesn’t perceive causing us to get tunnel vision and miss important visual cues. Studies suggests hands-free driving carries the same crash risk as driving drunk.

Phones are a Cell

Hogan noted that the 4th of July holiday is really Independence Day, and it’s a good time to declare independence from our phones, at least while driving. Melissa recalled Wayne’s last appearance on First Coast Connect when he quoted the Eagles in Hotel California: “We are all just prisoners here, of our own device.”

When it comes to distracted driving, Hogan said Georgia is now two steps ahead of Florida. Georgia and Florida, both ban texting while driving. However, in Georgia, it’s a primary offense, not a secondary offense as in Florida, to have a phone in hand. Today, 47 states ban texting while driving, 16 ban handheld calling and 38 ban all cell phone use by “novice” drivers. We are making progress, but we still have a long way to go in dealing with the distracted driving epidemic that kills thousands every year.

Car and truck accidents happen every day and range from minor fender benders to crashes causing major injuries and deaths. At Terrell Hogan, we represent the injured as they seek justice, but we also want to do our part in preventing highway tragedies.

Learn More About Distracted Driving

To date, the Terrell Hogan Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign has reached more than 8,847 teens and adults on the First Coast through its presentations. Contact our office for a complimentary Distracted Driving safety presentation for your club, organization or at your job. We can all be a part of the solution to end the danger of distracted driving.  To schedule a free presentation call Terrell Hogan at (904) 722-2228.