The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (AHAS), an alliance of insurance companies and consumer and safety leaders, recently released its 2013 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws rating states' performances in implementing 15 basic traffic safety laws. Georgia auto accident attorneys at the Law Office of Shane Smith can help if you are the victim of an auto accident.


The AHAS report ranked states based on implementation of such laws as text messaging bans, cell phone restrictions, open container laws and restrictions for learner's permits. According to the report, only 10 highway safety laws were passed in 2012 compared to 16 in 2011 and 22 in 2010.  States were graded based on whether they had passed traffic safety laws related to seat belts, child safety seats, motorcycle helmets, restrictions for teen drivers, use of handheld devices and impaired driving.


The AHAS study issued a three-tier ranking system: green represented the highest performance and was justified by a state making significant advancements toward adopting the recommended highway safety laws; yellow represented that a state was making inroads toward enacting the laws but had not yet implemented them; red represented that a state had not yet begun to adopt the recommended key highway safety laws.


Georgia was one of 14 states to receive the green (highest) rating. According to the AHAS report, in 2011 in Georgia there were 1,223 fatalities from motor vehicle accidents. The annual economic cost from Georgia auto accidents is approximately $7.85 billion.


AHAS recommended that Georgia enact and implement additional safety laws. These included increasing the minimum learner's permit age, adding teed driver nighttime driving and passenger restrictions and requiring ignition interlock for all DUI offenders.


AHAS noted that laws focusing on impaired and teen drivers are essential as these two groups are disproportionately responsible for a large number of auto accidents and fatalities. Texting and driving is illegal in Georgia pursuant to the Official Code of Georgia Annotated section 40-6-241. However, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently reported that enforcement of Georgia's texting and driving ban is nearly nonexistent. In over two years since the law went into effect there has been an average of fewer than 50 convictions per month. In 2011, nearly 4,000 accidents in Georgia were attributed to distracted driving and cell phone use; nearly 1,000 accidents resulted in injury and nine were fatal crashes. Clayton County convicted only 20 people for distracted driving.


If you or someone you know has been hurt by a distracted driver, call a Clayton County auto accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Shane Smith at 866-979-1629 and schedule a free legal consultation.

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