Texting while Driving and Distracted Drivers

Attorney Richard Armond of The Armond Firm, LLC, is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. Based in Gwinnett County, he handles serious injury and wrongful death cases throughout metro Atlanta and the State of Georgia. Call him for a free consultation at (678) 661-9585.

If you pay attention to the other drivers on the roads in metropolitan Atlanta, you will notice lots of drivers looking down at cell phones. You will experience way too often other drivers in the opposite direction drifting towards the center line and you will see them looking down at whatever they are looking at, most likely a smartphone of some sort. Unfortunately, there are also serious traffic collisions involving serious injuries and fatalities that are caused by negligent drivers who care more about what is on their phones than the safety of other motorists and pedestrians.

Georgia law has three main code sections that deal with people “texting and driving.” O.C.G.A. § 40-6-241.1 prohibits persons with learner’s permits and Class D licenses (the first real license a person can get which has limitations) and who are under the age of 18 from using cell phones and substantially similar devices (it includes smartphones and other electronic devices) in any way including calling, talking, and texting while operating a motor vehicle on a public road, with a few exceptions for emergency situations and while the vehicle is parked (stopped at a red light is still considered operation; parked means in a parking space or off to the side of the roadway, in other words the car is truly parked and not just stopped).

O.C.G.A. § 40-6-241.2 prohibits people who are 18 and older who have regular Class C licenses from engaging in text-based communications while on their phones. This is broader than it may seem--it includes emailing, traditional texting, etc., but it also includes internet data text based communications. Again, there is an exception in the statute for certain emergency situations. The statute also has even stricter prohibitions on people operating commercial vehicles which makes it unlawful to use a cell phone in any way to even speak on the phone or to even hold a cell phone for a voice communication.

Finally, O.C.G.A. § 40-6-241 requires drivers to use “due care” while operating all vehicles such that the driver shall not engage in any actions which shall distract such driver from the safe operation of such vehicle. The statute allows the proper use of mobile phones and some other devices in ways not prohibited by O.C.G.A. §§ 40-6-241.1 and 241.2, but it is kind of a catch all for distracted drivers whose actions make their driving unsafe.

Each of the statutes outlined above can have criminal punishment, but they can also form the basis for a civil cause of action if a person is hurt or killed by one of these types of distracted drivers. It is very important to promptly meet with an attorney in these cases. The mobile phone carriers do not maintain records forever that can prove a person was texting while driving. A lawyer can help with trying to make sure this valuable evidence is maintained by the cell phone company if the lawyer gets the case soon enough.

If you or a loved one have been injured or killed by a distracted driver and would like to speak with an attorney contact attorney Richard Armond at (678) 661-9585 for a free consultation.

The information above is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice, nor does the reading of it form an attorney-client relationship. Always consult directly with an attorney for legal advice.