There is no doubt that smartphones and other digital devices have simplified communication. But at the same time, the temptation to constantly be online and in touch has resulted in an increase in the number of car accidents because of distracted driving. If you live in Atlanta, Georgia and if you were hit by a distracted driver, you should contact an Atlanta car accident lawyer immediately to find out how you can get compensation for injuries and damage that you may have incurred.
Texting and Driving
Despite repeated warnings, drivers continue to text, send/read emails, post on social media and talk on their cell phones. Every day there are drivers involved in motor vehicle accidents, and in a large majority of cases, the primary cause of the accident is texting while driving. Texting while driving and other distracted driving behaviors have increased motor vehicle deaths in Georgia. Data from the National Safety Council shows that Georgia has reported the fifth-highest increase in the country as motor vehicle deaths in this region have increased by a third from 2014 to 2016. This increase is also twice the national average. Fatalities have increased by 14% during the same period.
Due to this spike in motor vehicle deaths and the number of distracted drivers on the road, the State of Georgia has enforced strict regulations related to texting and driving. The new ‘hands-free phone’ law was introduced in 2018 and applies to all drivers of all types of vehicles. The law is already in effect and comes with serious penalties for the offenders. If you believe that the driver who hit you was texting while driving, speak to an Atlanta car accident attorney.
The Hands-Free Law in Atlanta, Georgia
The new hands-free law is more comprehensive than the older law passed in 2010. As per the new regulations, it is illegal even to hold your phone while driving in Atlanta, Georgia. Drivers are also prohibited to read from their phone or use it to record video. This law applies to stoplights as well.
Specifically, these are the regulations that fall under the hands-free act:
- Drivers can only use their phones to receive or make a phone call by using an earpiece, speakerphone, a wireless headphone or if the phone is connected to an electronic watch or to the vehicle. At no time is one permitted to touch the phone to answer or make a call.
- While the driver cannot physically touch the smartphone while driving, they may send text messages via the phone’s voice to text feature.
- Drivers should not read any emails, text messages, surf social media sites or do any type of internet related search while driving.
- No reading to text.
- Drivers are not permitted to watch or record any video unless it is for navigation purposes. However, one may watch the dash-mounted camera intermittently if there is a valid reason.
- When it comes to streaming of music, the driver may use Spotify or Pandora as long as they activate and program the application while the vehicle is parked.
- Earpieces and headsets are for communication and not for listening to any music.
The only exception to the hands-free law is when the driver has to respond to a medical emergency. In addition, drivers can use their phones if there is any criminal activity, medical emergency, etc.
Any driver that does not abide by this law can face a $50 fine if it’s their first offense. It will be double if repeated. A second offense will result in a $100 fine and two demerit points. A third offense can result in a fine of $150 and three demerit points.
Car Accident Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia
If you were injured in a car accident and the cause of the accident was a driver who was texting while driving, contact an Atlanta car accident lawyer at Cain Injury Law. Keep in mind that Atlanta, Georgia is an at-fault region. This means that the party who is at fault will be liable for any damages. You will need to speak to an Atlanta car accident attorney as they have the necessary knowledge. Call Cain Injury Law today and schedule an appointment with one of our Atlanta car accident lawyers.