Distractions can result in significant accidents on the roadway. In the state of Georgia, legislators have worked to pass laws specifically designed to cut down on distracted driving, particularly concerning the use of cell phones while driving. Here, we want to examine Georgia’s distracted driving laws that you need to be aware of as you hit state roads.
Georgia Law Seeks to Prevent Cell Phone Distractions
The state of Georgia has a hands-free law in place regarding cell phone usage while driving. The law specifically states that drivers are not allowed to have a phone in their hands or touching any part of their body while they operate their vehicle. Drivers are allowed to use a hands-free device to talk on the phone, and they can use voice commands.
The state of Georgia says that, even with hands-free technology, drivers are not allowed to read, write, or send emails, text messages, or social media content. However, voice-to-text is allowed. Drivers are not allowed to watch videos while operating their vehicle, though GPS and navigational videos are allowed. The law goes on to state that drivers are not allowed to use their phones or any other device to record videos while driving.
Individuals who receive citations for violation of the hands-free cell phone law could receive a $50 fine for a first conviction as well as one point assessed against their driver’s license. A second conviction leads to a $100 fine and two points against a license, and a third conviction leads to a $150 fine and three points against a license. The fines for a second or third offense only apply if they occur within 24 months after the date of the first conviction.
Other Activities that Georgia Considers Distracted Driving
Cell phones are certainly not the only type of distraction that leads to accidents behind the wheel. When we examine information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we can see that distracted driving is defined as a driver doing any activity that takes their attention away from actual driving. This can include visual, manual, and cognitive distractions.
Some of the most common types of distractions individuals encounter aside from their phones include pets in the vehicle, eating or drinking behind the wheel, talking to other people in the vehicle, reaching for objects in other seats, and general distractions outside the windows.
If these other distractions lead to an accident, individuals could receive a citation. The citation could be for something other than distracted driving, even though the incident may have been caused by distracted driving. Law enforcement officers could cite an individual for reckless driving. The police can bring this charge for any person they see operating a vehicle with reckless disregard for the safety or property of others. A reckless driving charge is actually a misdemeanor, and a conviction of this charge could result in a fine of up to $1,000 and jail time of no more than 12 months.
Working With a Car Accident Lawyer
If you or somebody you care about has been injured in an accident caused by the actions of a distracted driver, we encourage you to reach out to a skilled Coweta County car accident lawyer as soon as possible. When you have legal counsel, you will have an advocate ready to investigate every aspect of the incident and help you recover the compensation you need.