Our cell phones have become such an integral part of our everyday lives. From checking email to keeping in touch with friends on social media to using our phones as a map, it’s difficult to get away from them at any point during the day. Unfortunately, this dependence on our phones has led to a lot of accidents due to distracted driving. In fact, approximately nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured daily in the United States in incidents reported as involving a distracted driver according to the Centers for Disease Control.
In response to all these accidents and fatalities, lawmakers have tried to make adjustments over the years to curb these tragedies from occurring and to keep people safer on the roads. Many states, including Georgia, have implemented a ban on texting while driving—which is a huge distraction to drivers.
However, Georgia has recently decided to step it up a notch in its fight against distracted driving. On July 1 this year, Georgia’s Hands-Free While Driving Law went into effect. Let’s go over what this law is and what it means for Georgia road safety.
What is the Hands-Free While Driving Law?
According to an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Hands-Free Georgia act went into effect on July 1. Essentially what this means for drivers in Georgia is that they are no longer allowed to hold a cell phone while they are driving. Although the initial bill only allowed drivers one swipe to answer an incoming phone call, the law is much more lenient than that. This led to a lot of confusion over whether drivers could still use their mobile devices—but the law, when it comes down to it, simply doesn’t allow drivers to hold, cradle, or support their cell phones while operating the car.
What Can Drivers Do Under the Hands-Free Georgia Act?
Although drivers cannot physically hold their cell phones to their ears, they can still use GPS, voice-to-text features, and can make and receive phone calls hands-free. They can also use single-ear headphones and Bluetooth pieces as well as earbuds with microphone capabilities.
Drivers can use all their phone’s capabilities when they are legally parked—but legally parked doesn’t include stopping at a stoplight or when they are stuck in gridlock traffic.
If drivers break this new law, they can face penalties up to $150.
Have you or a loved one been injured in a distracted driving accident in Georgia? You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call a personal injury legal team you can trust—the Fry Law team—at 404.969.1284.