Distracted Driving Attorney Conyers: Frequently Asked Questions
All across Georgia each day there are numerous car crashes that occur which could have easily been avoided. We have all seen the tell tale signs of a distracted driving crash. Sometimes there is a one car accident, and other times cars are rear ended at traffic lights. Unfortunately, there are times where fellow Georgians have died as a result of distracted driving. These frequently asked questions have been designed to assist you and your loved ones to know the risks and terms associated with distracted driving.
Q: What is distracted driving?
Distracted driving is when driver is distracted at any time which diverts their attention from the road to any other task. While, most individuals immediately think of texting and driving there are numerous other types.
-Applying makeup while driving
-Eating while driving
-Disciplining children while driving
-Talking on the phone while driving
-Texting or even sexting while driving
-Checking social media
Q: How is electronic distracted driving different?
The greatest cause of distracted driving today is undoubtedly cell phones. Using a cell phone or any other piece of technology while operating a vehicle is referred to as electronic distracted driving. Even using a phone’s GPS function is considered to be electronic distracted driving. Consider, individuals that may pull up their laptop to send out that last minute email or to review files for work, all of these devices are able to distract us from driving.
Q: Why does the legality of cell phone use while driving differ from state to state?
There are no Federal Laws regulating cell phone use while driving, so it falls to the states to decide whether they believe driving while using a cell phone should be illegal. Georgia law clearly states that under no circumstances should any driver be texting while driving. The recommendation of our firm is to not use your phone at all while working to navigate to your destination.
Q: Which states ban the use of cell phones for every driver?
No states have banned all cell phone use for every driver. Many states may require a driver to have a certain amount of experience before allowing them to use their cell phone while operating their car. Other states may require drivers to use the hands-free function of their phone while driving. However, almost every state has banned texting while driving.
Q: Is it legal to text at a stop light?
Often, no. It is not legal to text at a red light or stop sign. However, every state permits a driver to pull off to the side of the road, turn off their car, and then text. Some places even have rest stops specifically designed for people to pull off the road and text. Again, at MG4Law, we would like to reiterate, that if you discover the need to text while you are in the car, it is best to completely remove yourself, your family, and your car from the roadway. If you are driving on a highway, we recommend pulling off of the highway and locating a safe place to park, and then text. There are too many car crashes that occur with vehicles that have pulled over to the side of a highway.
Q: Can I be given a ticket for texting because I was dialing a phone number?
It is possible. Police officers often do not have the ability to know what your intentions are while the phone is in your hand, and one may ticket you for something that you were not doing at the time. However, if you reside in a state that allows you to talk on the phone and drive and your phone has a call log, you may be able to show the court that you were dialing a number at the time you received your ticket, which may get the ticket for texting dropped. It is important to consider the mathematics involved with motor vehicles. As personal injury attorneys, we often times hire experts to calculate the action or inaction of the defendant in a case, and often times, seconds make the difference between life and death.
Q: Can I change the music my phone is playing?
In states that require drivers to use their phone in hands-free mode, no, you cannot legally adjust your music while driving.
Q: Can I get a ticket for utilizing my phone’s GPS?
It is possible. It entirely depends on the wording of your state’s laws about distracted driving. If your state’s laws state that you are not to hold or use your phone, then yes you can get a ticket. Some other states may allow you to hold your phone, but prohibit you from inputting information into the GPS.
Q: Can I receive a ticket for a cell phone ban when I did not know there was one?
Yes. Ignorance of the law does not preclude any of us from having to follow it.
Q: Why are distracted driving laws so ambiguous?
Distracted driving is still a relatively new threat to our roadways, ever-changing technology also makes it difficult for the our state legislature to pass effective bills which help protect us, while not encroaching on the freedoms that we hold so dearly..
Q: Can a police officer search and take my phone away?
A police officer cannot go through your phone without your permission (or a warrant). However, technology is currently in development that will allow for an officer to see when your phone was in use without intruding on your privacy. There have been cases in Georgia which have shown defendants have updated social media status or sent texts while driving.