The increasing popularity of social media has become a factor in motor vehicle accidents. Some drivers in Georgia may be paying more attention to their social media content than the road ahead. It is also not unheard of to see an overconfident motorist attempting to snap a smartphone photo of themselves while driving on a major highway. According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, drivers who were speeding, impaired or distracted are responsible for 70% of fatal crashes. Unsafe driving results in an average of four fatalities per day, and 17% of the Peach State’s motor vehicle accidents involve pedestrians.

While you might be a seasoned driver with your full attention on the road, another individual may not be nearly as attentive. Georgia’s motor vehicle laws regarding the use of mobile technology can help you drive safely and may also assist you in seeking relief for any injuries or damage caused by a distracted driver.

Georgia’s Hands-Free Law

Viewing or sending a text message while stopped at a red traffic light might seem harmless, but it is illegal. Georgia’s 2018 Hands-Free Law limits a driver regarding the use of a mobile device while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers may not hold a phone in their hand or allow it to touch any part of their body, but they may use hands-free technology such as a headset to communicate freely.

Other than using a speech-to-text device, the new law prohibits typing and viewing text messages or emails while driving. The new law also prohibits creating social media content while operating a motor vehicle. Penalties include a fine and points added to the driver’s license.

Using technology safely

A camera placed on a vehicle’s dashboard can capture the journey legally and is a much safer way to share traveling adventures. The new law permits a stationary camera because it does not require drivers to use their hands. It is not illegal to listen to streaming audio, but the law prohibits drivers from using their hands to change the music or channel.

Drivers who ignore Georgia’s Hands-Free Law may find themselves held responsible for any harm caused to others by their actions. If a distracted driver causes you harm or injury, you may be entitled to remedial compensation beyond the amount obtainable through an insurance claim.