It can be hard to remember every single driving law that exists, especially if it’s been many years since you attended your driver’s education class. Georgia periodically updates its laws,  which means there’s a good chance that some of the state’s more recent driving laws weren’t even in existence when you first learned the rules of the road.

Taking the time to review some of the most important Georgia driving laws can help you avoid legal troubles later and perhaps even keep you from getting into a car accident. It can also help you recognize when another driver has broken the law. Being able to identify who was legally at fault for a vehicle accident is the first step to holding that driver financially responsible for a crash.

8 Georgia Driving Laws Worth Reviewing

Sometimes, driving laws dictate the right of way in situations that drivers don’t come across every day. This can make it hard to remember exactly what the law says about unusual driving situations. Other laws are more recent, and you might not even be aware that you need to follow them as a Georgia driver.

Take a look at these eight important driving laws in Georgia to protect yourself from a legal and financial headache down the road.

1. You Can’t Merge From the Center Lane

Merging from the center lane is a rule that Georgia drivers often break and may not even be aware of. You might see drivers pull into the center lane and then wait to merge. This driving maneuver can make it easier to turn left into oncoming traffic when the roads are congested. However, it’s also an illegal driving move in Georgia. Drivers should only pull into the center lane when they’re making a left turn.

2. You Can’t Text While Driving

Texting while driving is an easy way to end up with a ticket in Georgia. However, something Georgia drivers might not know is that the law is vague about exactly when a driver isn’t allowed to text. This means you can end up with a ticket for texting while driving even when your car is stopped at a red light. It’s best to avoid texting altogether while driving in Georgia.

3. Headlights Must Be on When Using Wipers

Any time you’re using your windshield wipers, Georgia law requires that your headlights must also be on. Drivers should be aware that relying on a car’s automatic lights doesn’t always turn these lights on, so the simplest way to avoid a ticket is to manually turn on the lights if you’re using your wipers.

4. You Must Yield the Left Lane

The “Slowpoke Law” went into effect in 2014 and applies to all roads with at least two lanes in each direction. It is now unlawful for someone driving in the passing lane to stay in that lane once “such person knows or should reasonably know that he or she is being overtaken … from the rear by a motor vehicle traveling at a higher rate of speed.” That means you can be pulled over, even if you are doing the speed limit, if you are doing it in the left lane and fail to yield to someone behind you who is traveling faster.

5. No One Under 18 Can Ride in the Open Bed of a Pick-Up Truck on the Interstate

Although the beds of pick-ups are designed for cargo, not people, Georgia law has several exemptions. You can ride in the bed on the interstate if you are over 18, or if you are 17 and younger and the bed is covered. There are no restrictions off the interstate, though common sense suggests pick-up truck beds provide little to no protection in a crash.

6. You Must Move Over for Emergency Vehicles

You must move over for police cars, emergency vehicles, wreckers and garbage trucks. Variations of the “Move-Over Law” exist in more than 30 states to address the problem of police, first responders and transportation workers’ being killed during routine traffic stops, car accident responses and construction projects.

The law creates a buffer lane between passing traffic and authorized roadside emergency vehicles displaying flashing yellow, amber, white, red or blue lights. In Georgia, any driver who cannot move over due to heavy traffic must slow down to 10 miles per hour below the speed limit and be prepared to stop. Starting July 1, 2015, the law was extended to include sanitation trucks.

7. Your Plate Must Always Be Visible

Georgia state law requires that your Georgia license must be fully visible at all times. This particularly applies to the use of vanity frames, which can cover up identifying information that needs to be visible to law enforcement. It also applies to objects blocking your plates, as well as mud or anything else that makes it impossible to read the license information.

8. You Need to Always Carry Your License

It’s worth reviewing that a Georgia driver is legally required to always carry a physical copy of their Georgia driver’s license. Evolving technology has increased the popularity of digital IDs. However, even if you have a digital ID, you’re still required to hand over a physical copy of your license during a Georgia traffic stop.

The Consequences of Breaking a Driving Law in Georgia

Driving laws are written to reduce the incidence of car accidents. Unfortunately, even a thorough body of laws around driving doesn’t stop accidents from occurring. When a car crash happens, whichever driver broke a driving law is usually found to be at fault for the crash.

Being found at fault for a crash can have serious implications, especially if the accident resulted in severe injuries or wrongful death. The at-fault driver can be left without any means of paying off their medical bills or vehicle damage. Meanwhile, the other driver can have injuries and lost wages entirely paid for by the at-fault driver’s insurance policy.

It’s important for drivers to understand the consequences that come with being deemed at fault for a car crash in Georgia. If you are involved in a crash, you should never apologize or admit fault until you’ve consulted a lawyer.

Consult a Georgia Car Accident Lawyer Today

It’s hard to know how things will unfold in the aftermath of a Georgia car accident. Drivers aren’t always aware of all driving laws, which means you might not be fully informed about who should be held responsible for a crash.

The best way to protect yourself from legal and financial consequences after an accident is to consult a Georgia car accident attorney from Mann Law Firm right away. We can investigate the unique details of your case and fight for the compensation you need and deserve. Call Mann Law Firm at (478) 742-3381 to schedule a consultation with an experienced Georgia car accident lawyer today.

Attorney David Mann

Attorney David MannBefore leading his own firm, Mann served for several years as in-house defense counsel for a large insurance company, which gives him unique insight into how insurance companies work. He uses this critical knowledge as an advantage for his clients. He is a tough negotiator and litigator, and he is exceptionally strategic in building cases on behalf of personal injury victims.[ Attorney Bio ]

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