Georgia’s Law on Texting While Driving Explained

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Explore:  Cell Phones Texting

Drivers who text behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident. Yet many still continue to do it.

In fact, Georgia has the third-highest rate in the nation for drivers who text while behind the wheel, according to a study cited by Georgia Governor’s Office of Traffic Safety. It found 37 percent of the Georgia drivers admitted to texting while driving. 

While many drivers are confident in their ability to multi-task, the crash statistics show otherwise. In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Given the risks, Georgia prohibits all drivers from texting behind the wheel. Unlike the handheld cellphone ban, the law applies to all drivers in the state, not just those under 18 years old. The law specifically makes it illegal to "write, send, or read any text based communication, including but not limited to a text message, instant message, e-mail, or Internet data" while operating a motor vehicle.

In Georgia, texting behind the wheel is a primary offense. This means that a police officer can stop a driver simply for violating the texting ban. In states where texting is a secondary offense, the officer must first observe the driver committing another violation, such as running a stop sign. The penalties for violating Georgia’s texting ban include a fine of $150, plus a point against the driver's history.

Drivers who cause injuries while texting behind the wheel can also face civil liability. If the driver who caused your injuries was texting behind the wheel, you have a strong negligence case. At Owens & Mulherin, our Savannah car accident attorneys can investigate the cause of your crash and hold the responsible driver accountable.

- See more at: http://www.lomlaw.com/blog/georgias-law-on-texting-while-driving-explained/#sthash.40JldZ1L.dpuf

Drivers who text behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident. Yet many still continue to do it.

In fact, Georgia has the third-highest rate in the nation for drivers who text while behind the wheel, according to a study cited by Georgia Governor’s Office of Traffic Safety. It found 37 percent of the Georgia drivers admitted to texting while driving. 

While many drivers are confident in their ability to multi-task, the crash statistics show otherwise. In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Given the risks, Georgia prohibits all drivers from texting behind the wheel. Unlike the handheld cellphone ban, the law applies to all drivers in the state, not just those under 18 years old. The law specifically makes it illegal to "write, send, or read any text based communication, including but not limited to a text message, instant message, e-mail, or Internet data" while operating a motor vehicle.

In Georgia, texting behind the wheel is a primary offense. This means that a police officer can stop a driver simply for violating the texting ban. In states where texting is a secondary offense, the officer must first observe the driver committing another violation, such as running a stop sign. The penalties for violating Georgia’s texting ban include a fine of $150, plus a point against the driver's history.

Drivers who cause injuries while texting behind the wheel can also face civil liability. If the driver who caused your injuries was texting behind the wheel, you have a strong negligence case. At Owens & Mulherin, our Savannah car accident attorneys can investigate the cause of your crash and hold the responsible driver accountable.