What You Need To Know About The Georgia Hands-Free Law

November 23, 2018

Georgia has enacted a hands-free law when driving that will affect residents all over the state. The new law is a key part of legislation that changes the way that drivers behave on the road. It could also potentially reduce the number of car accidents that happen throughout the year. 

While the hands-free law has been under consideration for many years, it finally went into effect July 1, 2018. Under the new law, drivers are prohibited from having a phone of any kind in their hand when driving. This includes supporting the phone with any part of your body as well. 

However, drivers can use their phone while driving if they use the following:

  • Speakerphone
  • Earpiece 
  • Wireless headphones
  • Vehicle connection
  • Electronic watch

Earphones and earpieces can be worn for phone use, such as talking and dialing, but cannot be used to watch movies or listen to music.

When it comes to text messaging the hands-free law in Albany, GA, is very specific. It does not allow drivers to send or read any text-based communications unless they are through voice services such as Siri or Alexa. These voice-based services automatically transform written text to voice communication, allowing for hands-free driving.

The Albany, GA, law also stipulates that drivers cannot write, send or read any text messages, email, social media or internet website content. Drivers also cannot watch a video unless it is for navigational purposes. Drivers can record a video when driving unless it is a continuously running dashcam, which is exempt from the law.

You are able to continue listening to your music streaming apps as the law provides that a driver can activate and program these music apps when parked. However, they cannot be activated or programmed when driving unless you have voice command features. Basically, you cannot use the app with your hands when driving, so even changing the song to the next one is illegal unless you use voice commands. 

Music apps that include video are illegal as well, based on the fact that drivers cannot watch a video as they drive. Drivers can listen and program a music app that is connected and controlled with the radio inside the vehicle. 

When it comes to GPS systems, apps like Google Maps and Waze can be used, but drivers must first program the address or destination into the app prior to driving. You can program these devices with voice commands when driving if you have this feature on your GPS.

Even with the best of laws, there are some exceptions, and the hands-free law also has some exceptions. You can use your phone at any time to report a crash, medical emergency, fire, criminal activity or road hazard. This exception allows you to make the call with your hands as necessary.

Keep in mind that when the hands-free law states that you can use your device when stopped, this does not mean at a stop sign or stop light. Using your phone during these instances could mean a citation. 

Do I Need a Car Accident Lawyer in Albany, GA, in My Car Accident Case?

While the hands-free law is intended to protect drivers and prevent crashes, accidents do happen. A car accident lawyer in Albany, GA, can help. When injured because of a car crash, talk to your Albany auto accident attorney about your case.

A car accident lawyer in Albany, GA, will determine if you have a case and investigate your injury claims. They will fight to get you compensation and negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement.

Your Albany auto accident attorney can answer your questions about your car crash. They know the law for car accidents. They will advise you of your legal rights and guide you through the entire legal process. Let your car accident lawyer in Albany, GA, help you with your crash case and get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. 

Contact an Albany Auto Accident Attorney Now

When a car accident leaves you injured, you need an Albany auto accident attorney that you can trust on your side. Car accident lawyer Joe Durham can help. He will take your case and fight for your legal rights after a car accident. You can count on Joe Durham to win your car accident case. Contact him today to set up a consultation. He is ready to assist you now.