According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday afternoon in Marietta, 24-year-old, Eric Shumate of Cartersville was texting when he caused a two-vehicle wreck that temporarily closed three lanes of I-75.
According to reports, Shumate was driving southbound around 2 p.m. when his Nissan Altima struck a Nissan Leaf in the rear. The accident occurred just south of the Canton Road Connector. His Altima ignited after it crashed with the other car. ( a side note to those who think battery powered cars are less safe, it was the internal combustion vehicle that ignited )
Had someone been injured, the charges would have been far worse. Had someone died, the charges would have been Vehicular Homicide in the second degree.
O.C.G.A. 40-6-241.2 governs wireless communications for drivers older than 18-years-old holding a Class C license. It prohibits reading, writing, or sending a text-based communication while driving. This law includes texts, e-mail, Internet use, and instant messages. O.C.G.A. 40-6-241.1 also carves out exceptions while the car is parked lawfully and also allows drivers to use their phones to report an accident or crime. In-vehicle navigation systems are permitted. Violators will be subject to a $150.00 fine and 1 Point assessed onto their driving record.
Distracted driving threatens the safety of drivers, passengers, and bystanders. While seemingly harmless, sending a quick text or scanning for a new radio station can have life-altering consequences.
Please do not text and drive. Your vehicle travels hundreds of feet per second while driving at highway speeds. Distracted driving has surpassed DUI insofar as risk to other drivers. As a result, I would expect distracted driving to have consequences similar to DUI in the coming years.