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Distracted Driving in Georgia


young man on cell phone at the scene of a car accident

Looking down at your cell phone while driving to send a quick reply to a text may seem innocent: It only takes a few seconds, and your eyes are right back on the road after hitting “send.” However, this small act is anything but harmless. Even if it took less than 6 seconds to send your response, driving at least 55 miles per hour, you could have traveled the length of a football in that time, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). That’s 120 yards of road you weren’t paying attention to, where any number of hazards could have popped up in front of your car.

Distracted driving includes any activity, such as texting, that takes your attention away from the road. Numerous accidents are caused by drivers who were doing something other than driving. In 2016 3,450 deaths resulted from distracted driving-related crashes, according to the NHTSA.

What is Georgia's Distracted Driving Law? - Hands-Free Georgia Act

Because of the dangers of distracted driving, Georgia passed the Hands-Free Georgia Act in July 2018. The act bans drivers from holding a phone while driving, using their phones to read or send texts and emails, making calls, or watching or recording videos. There are exceptions for using a hands-free device or reporting an emergency.

Exceptions to the Hands-Free Georgia Act

The state of Georgia allows for exceptions to their hands-free act when it comes to the following:

  • If you are reporting an accident or other emergency, including road hazards, crimes, fires, and medical emergencies
  • Public utility workers or contractors who need to use their devices while responding to an emergency
  • Emergency response teams including police officers, firefighters, etc. who are responding to an emergency
  • If you are legally parked and are not operating your vehicle

Increase in Citations, Decrease in Accident Fatalities

The Hands-Free Georgia Act supersedes a previous law that prohibited drivers from texting while driving as well as talking on their cell phone. Drivers were still able to hold their phones, which made the law difficult to enforce. The stricter provisions of the new law make it easier to enforce. Since the law was passed, the Georgia State Patrol wrote more tickets for cell phone use at the end of 2018 than they did at the beginning of the year. The number of fatal accidents decreased since the law came into effect, according to an AJC article.

Penalties for Hands-Free Georgia Act Violations

  • 1st offense:
    • Up to $50 in fines
    • 1 point on your driving record
  • 2nd offense (within 2 years of your last conviction):
    • Up to $100 in fines
    • 2 points on your driving record
  • 3rd offense (within 2 years of your last conviction):
    • Up to $150 in fines
    • 3 points on your driving record

Committed to Helping You Get the Compensation You Deserve

Distracted driving poses a great danger to the safety and the lives of others. Our Cumming car accident attorney at The Manton Law Firm, LLC, is dedicated to helping you recover compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages that resulted from an accident caused by a distracted driver. We have years of experience providing superior legal guidance to individuals harmed in a car accident, and we are prepared to use our knowledge and skill to help you through your case.

Call us at (678) 926-9208 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.