One of the major reasons that accidents occur in Georgia is because drivers are distracted on the road. In fact, distraction is the top cause of rear-end accidents, and it contributes to a large number of collisions every year.
The State of Georgia has also realized that distraction is a serious problem that needs to be addressed to decrease the total number of accidents in this state. To reduce accidents, Georgia lawmakers have created new restrictions regarding cell phone use while driving. They are part of the Hands-Free Georgia Act.
What is the Hands-Free Georgia Act?
As of July 1, 2018, drivers in Georgia must follow new regulations regarding the use of their cell phone while driving. The biggest change that comes from this law is that drivers in Georgia can no longer hold their cell phone while driving. This law amended Georgia’s anti-texting law, which some drivers and lawmakers argued did not go far enough when it was enacted.
While drivers are still allowed to use their phones while driving, they cannot physically hold the phone and follow the law. Georgia drivers cannot:
- Use more than one button to answer a phone call
- Reach for a phone if it requires undoing a seat belt or standing up
- Cradle or hold a phone unless the driver is making an emergency call
Drivers are still allowed to use GPS features, voice-to-text, and receive and make phone calls as long as it is all done hands-free. Drivers can also use single-ear headphones and Bluetooth pieces as well.
The new rules eliminated drivers’ abilities to answer emails, check social media, and watch videos. Drivers can only engage in these activities if they are “legally parked,” which does not apply to sitting at stop lights or in traffic.
What else can drivers do to reduce distraction?
Distracted driving that leads to car accidents can be caused by more than just your smartphone. It can be because of:
- Letting your mind water
- Eating or drinking
- Adjusting in-car electronics, like navigation systems and audio settings
Anything that takes your mind, eyes, or hands away from the task of driving is a distraction. Georgia could do more to discourage distracted driving by launching campaigns to ensure that drivers know that avoiding distraction means more than just staying off your cell phone.
Ultimately, it’s the individual driver’s responsibility to keep their attention on the road and focus on what is going on around them. When they fail in that duty and cause a collision, legal liability may be the result.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer for Free
As long as there are drivers, they will occasionally be distracted. When distraction causes accidents, that driver is often legally responsible for the damages and injuries that they cause. Let John Foy & Associates help with your distracted driving claim. Call us at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.