Georgia Laws Personal Injury Wrongful Death Car Accident Attorney

Safe driving is critical. Every day in the United States, automobile collisions cause nine deaths and injure 1,161 people. Interestingly, Georgia has several driving laws that are not well-known and are not in sync with legislation in other parts of the country. Below is a discussion of some of those laws.

Distracted Driving Laws

Given the ever-increasing use of and reliance on electronic devices, more and more local governments are beginning to legislate against various types of distracted driving. Distracted driving is performing another activity while driving that takes the driver’s attention away from driving. These activities significantly increase the likelihood of an automobile accident and include:

  • Texting
  • Talking on a cell phone
  • Using a navigation map
  • Watching a video
  • Using any smartphone app, such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, or Instagram

In Georgia, despite distracted driving accident statistics, there is no cell phone or handheld device ban for drivers over age 18. Drivers under age 18 can face a misdemeanor charge and a $150 fine for using a cell phone while driving. Bus drivers are subject to a similar cell phone ban, but the average adult is not banned from talking on a cell phone while driving. That being said, however, legislation is pending to ban the use of cell phones while driving.

The Slowpoke Law

Effective July 1, 2014, Georgia drivers cannot linger in the left lane for long periods of time if doing so slows down traffic. This means drivers who do not drive close to the speed limit in the passing lane can be ticketed if there are other cars around. Traffic safety was the impetus for this legislation because the law removes slow drivers from the left lane and allows fast drivers to move around them, thereby reducing road rage.

There are two exceptions to this law:

  1. Drivers can stay in the passing lane due to weather or other hazardous conditions; and
  2. Drivers can stay in the passing lane if it leads to an exit.

The Headlights-During-Rain Law

Georgia law states that when it is raining or if there is insufficient visibility to view persons or vehicles 500 feet away, drivers must turn on their headlights. Even if it isn’t raining hard enough for drivers to have to turn on their windshield wipers, they must turn on their headlights. Most states require headlights during low visibility or when drivers have to use their windshield wipers. Georgia is stricter: the state requires the use of headlights even during a light drizzle.

Bicycle Laws

Georgia law treats bicycles as vehicles. Thus, in addition to having to wear a helmet, those who ride a bicycle must also obey all traffic laws. For example, bicycle riders must stop at red lights and stop signs and ride on the right side of the road.

If you were hurt in an automobile accident due to someone else’s negligence, contact the personal injury firm of Joel Williams.  The trial lawyers at Williams Elleby are knowledgeable about all of Georgia’s rules of the road.

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