Texting, Driving, and Insurance Rates
As a Georgia injury attorney, I see a lot of car accidents caused by distracted driving. It has been illegal to text while driving since 2010, although many drivers do it every day. What they may not realize is that sending or reading text messages while driving can have serious repercussions.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,092 people died in 2010 as a result of crashes caused by distracted driving. Text messaging while driving is one of the easily recognized forms of distracted driving. In Georgia, it is illegal to text or use a computer or wireless device to browse the internet or send and receive messages. It is not illegal for most drivers to use cell phones, but cell phone use, even hands free, is prohibited for new drivers under the age of 18 or bus drivers.
In some states, police can only issue a ticket for text messaging while driving if they have pulled you over for committing another offense, such as running a red light or weaving in and out of your lane. These types of offenses are common when someone is driving distractedly. But in Georgia, you don’t even have to break any other laws to get a ticket for texting while driving. Georgia police officers can pull you over if they simply witness you using an electronic device.
The fine for texting while driving is $150, but this is not the only financial consequence. Your auto insurance rates can increase for receiving these types of tickets as well. All tickets cost you points on your drivers license, and when you buy car insurance, the number of points on your license is one of the things taken into consideration when determining your rate. If you receive tickets frequently, this can greatly affect the amount of money you pay for car insurance, because you are considered a high risk driver.
So, when you’re in the car, put down your phone. Even though cell phone use is not illegal for most Georgia drivers, it still creates a distraction and makes you pay less attention to what is going on around you on the road. Be safe and responsible and wait until you arrive at your destination to send that text. It is not worth your life or the life of someone else.
Ty Wilson is an accident attorney in Savannah and is proud to offer FREE information about Georgia car accident claims at tywilsonlaw.com. Check out his many articles, videos, and to download his FREE books!
If you would like to speak to a Georgia car crash lawyer, just give Ty a call at 1-888-689-5224.