Georgia's law on cell phone use while driving became effective on July 1, 2010 and allows most Georgia drivers to use handheld and hands-free cell phones while driving. However, there are two very important exceptions as the law places an absolute ban on all cell phone use (both handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers and drivers 18 years old or younger.
Although Georgia drivers are not prohibited from using cell phones while driving, it is a very dangerous distraction. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (also known as the NHTSA), talking on a cell phone, even if it is hands-free, saps the brain of 39% of the energy it would ordinarily devote to safe driving. The NHTSA also reports that using a cell phone while driving delays your reaction time as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08, the legal limit for drunk driving. Based on these statistics, it is not surprising that the NHTSA also reports that drivers who use a hand-held device are 4 times more likely to be involved in a crash serious enough to cause an injury! Therefore, to lower your risk of an injury-causing accident, it is important to take proper safety precautions when talking on a cell phone and driving. Or, better yet, put your cell phone away when you turn your ignition on.
Texting While Driving
Georgia's texting while driving law places an absolute ban on texting for all drivers. An officer can ticket a driver for the offense without any other traffic violation taking place. In other words, it is NOT required that a Georgia driver first be pulled over for having committed another violation, such as running a red light or stop sign.
Texting while driving is even more dangerous than using a cell phone while driving because it involves manual, visual and cognitive distraction simultaneously. The NHTSA has found that texting drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car accident. In fact, the NHTSA reports that sending or reading a text while driving requires a driver to takes his or her eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds! At 55 mph, that is comparable to driving the length of an entire football field, blindfolded! Therefore, it is much wiser and safer for all Georgia drivers to abide by the law and pull into a safe location before sending or reading a text message.
The Van Sant Law, LLC is a personal injury law firm dedicated to representing those who have been seriously injured or lost their life due to the negligence of others. Our office is located in Atlanta, Georgia. However, we represent clients throughout the State of Georgia. For a free consultation, call us today at 404-991-5950 or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form.
Georgia General Assembly - http://www1.legis.ga.gov/legis/2009_10/search/hb23.htm
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration - http://distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/faq.html
Related Web Resources
Georgia Department of Driver Services - http://www.dds.ga.gov/index.aspx
Joshua's Law - http://www.gateendrivereducation.dds.ga.gov/