In 2015, there were almost 3,500 lives lost and just over 390,000 people injured in distracted driving car accidents. It makes sense if you think about how many times you pass someone on the road and see them texting and driving. Distracted driving became a more prevalent issue as cellphones rose in popularity and to combat it, Georgia passed a law that banned texting and driving. However, with many loopholes in the law, the state government is working to pass a new law that cracks down on texting and driving even further.
If you have been injured in a texting and driving car accident, a Fayetteville, Georgia distracted driving attorney can help you navigate the complex legal system.
What do the current Georgia texting and driving laws say?
Currently, in Fayetteville, Georgia, it is illegal to text while driving. This includes a ban on reading, writing, and sending text messages, as well as reading and writing emails, and accessing internet data. All cellphone, tablets, laptops and similar electronic devices are covered under the current law. However, talking on a handheld device and dialing from your phone is still legal. This is a loophole that the government is attempting to close with the passing of HB673.
How does the Georgia texting and driving law relate to teen drivers?
Fayetteville, Georgia does take a stricter stance against teen drivers using electronic devices while driving. Teens with a learner’s permit or class D license are prohibited from engaging in any wireless communication while operating a motor vehicle. Even with a handheld device, they are prohibited from talking on the phone while driving. The only exemptions are for reporting traffic accidents or medical emergencies, calling in a situation where the driver feels unsafe, reporting potential criminal or criminal activity, or if the vehicle is lawfully parked.
What changes does the new Georgia law make regarding texting and driving?
HB673, the bill that the government is hoping to pass, closes up a loophole. Under this new law, drivers are prohibited from even holding an electronic device while operating a vehicle. Currently, law enforcement officials have difficulty proving that a driver was texting, as opposed to holding their phone or dialing a number. Once HB673 passes, even holding a cell phone will be illegal and can result in fines and points on your license.
In addition, reaching for an electronic device, so you are no longer seated properly while driving is also illegal. Recording and watching videos will also be illegal, except in the cases of navigation.
How Does Texting and Driving Relate to Negligence in Georgia Auto Accidents?
Texting and driving car accidents are all too common in Georgia and pose an interesting legal question. Is a driver who texts while driving a negligent driver? In Georgia, texting and driving is against the law, and the act is classified as reckless driving. Drivers caught texting and driving are subject to fines and points on their license, and those who cause car accidents may be legally responsible for the damages caused. This will remain true even when HV673 passes.
What is Negligence in a Distracted Driving Automobile Accident Case?
According to Georgia law, when a driver gets behind the wheel, they assume a legal responsibility to operate it safely. This is commonly referred to as duty of care. Texting and driving is illegal, which means if a driver causes an auto accident while they are using an electronic device, they are purposely violating their legal duty of care. This constitutes negligence, which means that a driver who was texting is liable for any damages caused as a result of their negligent actions.
Do courts automatically presume negligence if a distracted driver causes an accident?
No, courts do not automatically presume negligence in texting and driving car accidents. The issue is proving that it was the negligence that actually caused the accident and not another driver, unforeseen road conditions, or inclement weather. The defendant’s attorney will usually argue there were other factors that caused the crash, which means you will need to prove otherwise. That is where the guidance of an experienced distracted driving attorney is essential. Texting and driving lawyers know what evidence to gather and utilize in court to strengthen your case and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Call the Wade Law Office Today if You Were Injured by a Distracted Driver
Texting and driving is a common type of distracted driving and causes car accidents on a daily basis. If you were injured in a car accident where the other driver was texting and driving, call the Wade Law Office right away. During our free consultation, we will review your case and develop a strategy to aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve.