From Georgia Car Accident Attorney Scott Campbell of Shiver Hamilton.
Texting and talking on the phone while driving are the two types of distracted driving most people probably think of when they hear the term. However, just about anything that can be done on a smartphone is now considered distracted driving in Georgia. As of July 1, 2018, Georgian lawmakers enacted a new law stating that drivers could not stream video on their devices, even when their vehicle is stopped at a traffic light.
Georgia is just one state that has included video directly in the new law written about distracted driving. After seeing an increase of accidents due to streaming live sports games, video on social media, and video calls, lawmakers believed it was a necessary move. Laws banning only texting and driving did not appear to be working, particularly in Georgia.
The state passed their law forbidding texting while driving in 2010. Still, auto accidents increased from 2014 to 2016 by 36 percent. Fatalities from those accidents increased by 34 percent. But the new law seems to be working. Crashes in Georgia have dropped by 11 percent so far this year, the only year that number has gone down instead of up since 2010.
Distracted driving is not just texting and driving, or talking on the phone while driving. It is anything that takes a driver’s eyes, and their focus, off the road.
Drivers in Georgia can still talk on their phones, as long as they do not actually touch their phones in order to do so. Wireless earpieces, smart watches, and in-vehicle communication systems are all still allowed. Drivers can also stream music through services such as Spotify, however they must select the music they wish to listen to before they begin driving.
Georgia’s new law has not just garnered attention around the state, but around the entire country. Lawmakers from North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Indiana have contacted Representative John Carson, who authored the Georgian bill. Soon, the law banning video streaming while driving, among other forms of distracted driving, may be law nationwide.
Personal Injury Attorney Scott Campbell of Shiver Hamilton has been recognized as a Georgia Rising Star by Super Lawyers multiple times as well as a Super Lawyer. He can be found on Facebook and Twitter.