Assessing the Impact of Hands-Free Georgia on Serious Motor Vehicle Accidents

Chase J. Wehrle, Patricia Martinez Quinones, Hallie T. Smith, Elizabeth D. Fox, Steven B. Holsten, Andrew Lawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Hands-Free Georgia Law (HB673) was designed to prevent motor vehicle collisions (MVCs) by banning drivers from using their hands for non-driving-related activities, including cell phone use. We investigate HB673 effect on trauma activations secondary to MVCs in Georgia. Methods: The Georgia Trauma Registry (GTR) was queried for MVCs from 2017 to 2019, representing the 18 months prior and following implementation of HB673. The number of MVCs for each period and severity of MVC designated by the average injury severity score (ISS) for each trauma activation were collected. Results: Prior to implementation, a total of 43 080 traumas were recorded in GTR, 11 111 (25.8%) were attributed to an MVC. Following implementation, 12 130 (23.6%) occurred secondary to MVCs. Statewide MVC-related traumas per 1000 residents increased from 1.07 to 1.14 with increased mortality rate and unchanged median ISS per MVC. Conclusions: The Hands-Free Georgia Law seems to have not had a major reduction in mortality in its early implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Surgeon
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Hands-Free Laws
  • driving safety
  • motor vehicle collision
  • texting and driving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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