Driving on the wrong side of the road in Georgia is a crime, even when a road does not have marked lanes of traffic. There are a few specific exceptions to Georgia’s driving on the wrong side of the road laws. Our lawyers explain the traffic laws about driving on the wrong side of the road.
Our car accident lawyers have recovered more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. Don’t let a driver on the wrong side of the road get away with the accident they caused. Instead of paying out of pocket for your damages, hold the negligent driver accountable and get the compensation you deserve.
Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road is Dangerous and Negligent
Dividers and markings on the road exist for a reason. All drivers are required to abide by these markings when on the road as a part of their duty of care. If they fail to do this, they commit a negligent action that can put fellow drivers and pedestrians at unnecessary risk of injury or death.
A negligent driver may believe that driving on the wrong side of the road is acceptable if they:
- Quickly go onto the wrong lane to make a maneuver.
- When there’s no one else on that side of the road.
In doing these negligent actions, they vastly overestimate their own abilities. Most drivers don’t have the skill or the reaction time to do what they think they can do on the wrong side of the road. Thus, it is essential to abide by all traffic rules and not risk driving on the wrong side.
Penalties for Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road
Under Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 40-6-40, all vehicles are to drive on the right side of the roadway. If a driver violates this law, their actions are illegal. The penalties for traveling on the wrong side of the road in Georgia depend on each specific situation.
If a driver turns onto a road, immediately realizes their mistake, and fixes, an officer might decide to either give a warning or a ticket for the violation. Fines for driving the wrong way on a one-way road offense typically range between $150 to 325, but that can vary based on the area where you were stopped and whether or not other offenses were involved. The law for driving on a one-way road can be found under OCGA § 40-6-47(b).
For example, if someone was on the wrong side of a highway because they were under the influence of alcohol, they would face much higher penalties on top of the wrong side violation.
If there was no clear sign showing a road was one-way or the driver had another legitimate reason for being on the wrong side of the road, they might be able to dispute the fine.
Points on Driving Record
If a driver is convicted of driving the wrong way on a one-way road, they would receive three points on their driving record. The driver can also expect their insurance premiums to increase after this offense. They may be able to complete a traffic safety school for a violation reduction if they have not already done so within the last five years.
Exceptions to Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road Laws in Georgia
Georgia law gives a few exceptions for its “driving on the right side of the road” law. A driver is able to move into the left lane of traffic when:
- Overtaking or passing another vehicle traveling in the same direction (and under the rules of passing)
- There is an obstruction that forces them to drive to the left of the center of the highway (as long as they yield to vehicles traveling in the proper direction)
- On a roadway with three marked lanes of traffic
- On a one-way road
- Preparing for a left turn at an intersection or onto a private driveway or roadway
- Official traffic-control devices have designated specific lanes to the left of the center of the road on a roadway with four or more lanes of traffic and two-way movement
Any situation that doesn’t follow the list of exceptions above would be a negligent maneuver. Thus, any accident caused by a driver on the wrong side of the road without a legitimate reason under the law would be liable for any damages.
Driving on the Wrong Side of the Road is Good Evidence for Your Claim
If your accident was caused by a driver on the wrong side of the road, you can use that as strong evidence for when you file a claim. Willfully breaking traffic laws is more than enough to convince the insurance company to settle in your favor. Despite this, you still need to show fault, so gathering as much evidence for your claim is also necessary. For that, you’ll need the assistance of a lawyer.
Talk to a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer for Free Today
Traveling on the wrong side of the road in Georgia can lead to disastrous consequences, such as deadly head-on collisions. If you or a loved one was injured as a result of someone not following the laws of the road, John Foy & Associates can help. We have 20 plus years of experience helping car accident victims win the compensation they deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact us and speak to one of our Georgia car accident lawyers today.