As if there weren’t already enough dangers on our roads, the advent of cell phones has only made driving in northwest Georgia even riskier. It is easy for someone to get distracted by their cell phone and cause serious accidents and severely injure someone. Georgia recently followed the lead of several other states and enacted strict laws against distracted driving.
While certain cities may have further penalties against distracted driving, the general laws are summarized below.
States are starting to get aggressive in enacting laws
Georgia, 14 other states, Washington D.C., Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico all have laws in place that make it illegal for all drivers to use handheld cell phones. Furthermore, these are primary enforcement laws. This means an officer can issue a citation if they see you using a handheld cell phone while driving without any other reason for pulling a driver over.
While no state has completely banned cell phone use while driving, 38 states and D.C. have prohibited new drivers from using cell phones at all. 20 states and D.C. have made it illegal for school bus drivers to use cell phones while driving.
Texting while driving is taken even more seriously
46 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and Washington D.C. prohibit text messaging while driving by all drivers. Two of the remaining states do not allow new drivers to text while driving. One of the states remaining prohibits school bus drivers from texting.
Clearly, every state realizes the danger that using a cell phone can pose to drivers and those around them. These laws come on the heels of mountains of data collected on accidents caused by distracted driving. It is obvious that driving while distracted can cause serious, and even fatal, accidents. In a study recently released by the AAA, 35 percent of teenage drivers have admitted to texting while driving. 21 percent of fatal accidents involving teenage drivers were compounded by texting while driving. This amounts to 11 teenage drivers being killed every day due to text messaging while driving. These statistics provided the impetus for new distracted driving legislation.
Persons injured by distracted drivers in Georgia can see damages
These laws have important legal implications for people injured by distracted drivers. For someone involved in a car accident, even with insurance, the cost of repairing or replacing a car can be significant. These costs are multiplied for someone who ends up requiring medical treatment. Furthermore, many people are injured for life as a result of car accidents. Anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident in which a distracted driver is found negligent may file a lawsuit to recover compensation for damages related to medical costs, lost earnings and pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, contact an experienced Northwest Georgia personal injury attorney today. Gammon, Anderson & McFall, in Cedartown has a long track record of successful personal injury representation. Source citations:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwickvfJhNHPAhWHZj4KHUTbDLcQFggzMAE&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.edgarsnyder.com%2Fcar-accident%2Fcause-of-accident%2Fcell-phone%2Fcell-phone-statistics.html&usg=AFQjCNF9plMWYOHFW7mVDy9n2_Pc9rbUEA&sig2=yVhLmuUrz7BLqCub2lshEg. Web Access. 10 October 2016.
http://ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html. Web Access. 10 October 2016.