By Alan Hamilton, a car accident attorney with the law firm of Shiver Hamilton, in Atlanta.
The State of Georgia began enforcement of its “hands free” law in July of this year. The law requires that cell phones only be used through a hands-free device, and eliminating the ability of a driver to use a cell phone for any purpose while operating a vehicle. Opponents of the law claimed that enforcement would be difficult and that other distractions in the vehicle – such as eating – were just as problematic.
Since the law’s implementation however, the statistics support the claims of hands-free proponents that the law would reduce traffic accidents. As of September 30th, traffic crashes were down 11 percent versus the same time period in 2017 – the largest decrease in traffic accidents in 10 years. The number of vehicle-related deaths also declined by 128 over the same time period.
Georgia’s Hands Free law is different than some other distracted driving laws, in that it is considered a primary offense, meaning that if an officer sees you holding, cradling, or supporting your phone in any way, he or she can stop you and issue a citation. The reduction in the number of automobile accidents and fatalities is an indicator that the law is deterring drivers from using their cell phones while in the car.
However, even with these laws in place and working, accidents involving distracted drivers will continue to occur. Whether it is because the person is eating, drinking, talking, changing radio stations or using their phone, these distracted driving accidents will continue to cause damage to property and injury to individuals in Georgia.
If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, do not attempt to negotiate with the driver or the insurance company on your own. Each party will be seeking to pay the minimum amount and will request a full release of any rights you may have related to claims or injuries. Do not allow them to take advantage of you during a difficult time. Contact a Car Accident Attorney to represent you. An experienced attorney will advocate for your rights, negotiate with the other driver and the insurance company, and ensure that you receive the compensation that you deserve.
Alan Hamilton is a personal injury attorney from the law firm Shiver Hamilton. Located in Atlanta, Georgia; Shiver Hamilton handles cases such as car accidents, truck accidents, and wrongful death. Shiver Hamilton can be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.