All licensed drivers in Georgia must abide by laws implemented by the Georgia Department of Public Safety. Many car accidents in Georgia are caused by drivers who violate one or more of these laws. In this post, we will discuss some of these safety-oriented laws.
Distracted driving laws
Distracted driving or engaging in activities that take your attention off the road, is illegal in the state of Georgia. Using a cell phone while behind the wheel is one of the most common forms of distracted driving. Under the Hands-Free Georgia Act, drivers must not hold their phone or allow it to touch any part of their body while driving unless they are:
- Calling emergency services
- Reporting an accident
- Reporting a crime
- Reporting a roadway hazard
Drivers are prohibited from using their digital devices to:
- Text (unless voice-to-text is available)
- Surf the Internet
- Watch videos
- Read messages
When a driver or passenger fails to wear a seatbelt, they are more likely to suffer serious injuries or die in a crash. Under Georgia law:
- Drivers and front seat passengers of all-ages must wear a seatbelt.
- All passengers from ages eight to 17 must wear a seatbelt.
- All passengers under the age of eight must be secured in an appropriate car seat (as specified by the United States Department of Transportation).
There are however a few exceptions where drivers or passengers are not legally required to wear a seatbelt (e.g., bus or taxi passengers or drivers or passengers in emergency vehicles).
Move Over and Slow Poke laws
Georgia traffic laws, drivers can only drive in certain lanes of travel at certain times. These laws help encourage the smooth flow of traffic and prevent accidents caused by road rage. For example:
- Under the “Move Over Law,” drivers are legally required to move over one lane if an emergency vehicle is parked on the shoulder of the highway with their flashing lights on.
- Under the “Slow Poke Law,” drivers in the left lane (even those going the speed limit) must move over to the center or right lane if a faster driver quickly comes up behind them (with a few exceptions).
Motorists who fail to follow these laws may be ticketed and fined for their negligence. Additionally, if a negligent driver causes a car accident, they may be liable for damages. A personal injury attorney in your area can help you file a claim for damages if you have been injured a motor vehicle collision caused by a negligent driver.