How Does Georgia’s Hands-Free Law Affect Car Accident Cases?
Changes to the law in the state of Georgia may cause you to consider hiring an Atlanta car accident lawyer if you were involved in a car accident while using a hands-free device. Even if you were not using a hands-free device, these laws can still affect your case.
Involved In a Car Accident While Using a Hands-Free Device? Call Us!
Distractions are one of, if not the major cause of car accidents. This is true even if the drivers involved were using the hands-free devices recommended by the law at the time of the accident. If you fail to follow Georgia’s new hands-free laws, the court and insurance company may find you at fault, even if your distraction was only temporary.
Our lawyers at Prieto, Marigliano, Holbert & Prieto, LLC are well-versed in these new laws and can give you the advice you need on how to proceed. Call today for a free consultation with one of our highly experienced personal injury lawyers, and learn what you can do to be successful in your claim.
Distracted Driving Under Georgia Law
In the state of Georgia, you may be determined to be “at fault” for an accident if you were distracted while driving. Distractions can be particularly disastrous in accidents involving a truck. Imagine a truck driver hauling a 48-foot flatbed and checking his cellphone while driving! And yet it happens every day.
The law categorizes distractions into one of the three following categories.
Manual distractions are those that cause a driver to take his hands away from the wheel. These distractions take the driver’s attention off of driving. For instance, holding a cellphone while reading GPS directions or adjusting the car stereo are both examples of manual distractions.
Visual distractions are distractions that cause the driver’s eyes to wander away from the road. Visual distractions can be on the road or within the vehicle itself.
For example, a driver distracted by seeing a deer on the side of the road may miss the fact that he is coming too close to the car in front of him. Or he may be trying to check on his child in the backseat while forgetting that he is still approaching the vehicle in front of him at the same rate of speed.
Cognitive distractions are those that take the driver’s mind off of the task of driving. Conversations with a passenger in the car or using a hands-free set to talk on the phone both qualify as cognitive distractions.
No matter what distraction you are accused of engaging in, our qualified car accident lawyers can help.
Acceptable Hands-Free Use
In July of 2018, Georgia passed new laws defining how drivers should use mobile devices in their vehicles. Under these new laws, Georgia drivers cannot touch their mobile devices at all while driving, even while stopped at a light or a stop sign.
Drivers may only touch their mobile devices to accept or end a phone call. As for GPS, drivers can use their GPS while driving, so long as they set their destination before beginning their trip.
Drivers are also limited in how they can use a hands-free setup. Drivers can use mounts to hold their mobile devices. They can also place them in the passenger seat or cup holder.
Any arrangement wherein the mobile device is on the driver’s person, such as in his lap or held between the driver’s head and shoulder, is prohibited. Under these new laws, the only time it is acceptable to hold a mobile device while driving is in an emergency.
Handling Your Hands-Free Case
You may have thought you were properly using your hands-free device when your accident happened – only to be found liable under Georgia’s new laws. You may not have even realized the laws had changed, leading to your surprise and disappointment at being labeled the liable one.
Here at Prieto, Marigliano, Holbert & Prieto, LLC, we can evaluate your case and help you decide where to go from here. We can help the insurance company and court understand that it was just an innocent mistake, and that you thought you were doing everything right. Innocent mistakes should not be penalized, and yet they are punished every day. That’s why you need a good lawyer to fight for you and your case.
Like hundreds of our clients in the past, you too can benefit from the advice of a good lawyer. All you need to do is fill out our contact form, or call us at