Thanks to new distracted driving laws, Georgia lawmakers hope to reduce injury accidents and fatalities in Bartow County and throughout our state.
Georgia distracted driving bill, officially known as the “Hands-Free Georgia Act,” imposes penalties for using electronic devices while operating a vehicle. The law imparts even more significant restrictions for drivers of commercial vehicles.
Even with these increased restrictions, Bartow County remains one of the most dangerous for motorists. If you sustained injuries in a car accident due to someone else’s actions, a Georgia car accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve for your damages.
What You Need to Know About the Georgia Distracted Driving Bill
The new GA distracted driving law expands upon the existing laws that already banned texting and driving. Under the Hands-Free Georgia Act, drivers cannot read, write, or send texts and emails, even with hands-free technology. In addition, motorists can no longer engage in any of the following activities behind the wheel:
- Watch videos,
- Make videos,
- Post on social media, or
- Hold or touch their phone.
The penalties for violating the new law are a $50 fine and one point assessed against the driver’s license for the first offense. The second offense results in a $100 fine and two points assessed. For third and subsequent offenses, drivers face a $150 fine and three points assessed.
Barlow County Traffic Accident & Injury Data
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data indicates that injury and fatality accidents in Bartow County increased significantly in 2018 (the most recent year of published data).
Some notable facts about the safety of our roadways include:
- Speeding-involved crash fatalities increased nearly tenfold from 2017 to 2018.
- Six times more rollover-involved crash fatalities occurred in 2018 than in 2017.
- Pedestrian-, motorcycle-, and bicycle-related accidents all increased in 2018.
The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) brings us more distressing data, specifically regarding the threat posed by distracted drivers.
In 2018, 55% of the state’s traffic fatalities occurred due to motorists failing to maintain their lane. The problem has gotten so out-of-hand that the DOT has begun installing rumble strips on state roadways to help keep drivers’ eyes on the road.
These statistics prove just how much of a threat that vehicle accidents pose in our county, causing significant property damage, injuries, and deaths every year.
The Hands-Free Georgia Act will have a positive effect over time, hopefully reducing these disturbing statistics and saving lives. No matter how careful you are on the roadways, however, a single distracted driver could change your life in an instant.
The Threat of Distracted Driving in Georgia
Unfortunately, motorists have many other distractions to take their eyes off the road. Some of the other common causes of distracted driving accidents include:
- Setting, adjusting, or checking GPS;
- Setting or adjusting audio systems;
- Setting or adjusting temperature controls;
- Reaching for dropped objects;
- Eating and drinking; and
- Talking to vehicle passengers.
Anything that causes a driver to look away from the road, even for a second, can lead to a serious crash. If you become a victim of a car accident that you didn’t cause, an experienced personal injury attorney can help hold the negligent party accountable.
Talk to a Georgia Car Accident Attorney Today at No Cost
In Cartersville, the Pritchard Injury Firm helps accident victims recover compensation for their medical bills, lost income, and more. If you suffered injuries in an accident that wasn’t your fault, or if you would like to learn more about the new Georgia distracted driving law, contact us now to schedule your free consultation.