We only take Driver’s Ed once, but driving laws tend to change almost every year and even the most experienced drivers may not be aware.
We want you to make good decisions when on the road amongst others. Get to know these 10 vital Georgia driving laws that could change how we navigate the roads and stay safe.
You Need Car Insurance
First things first, Georgia drivers are required by law to maintain car insurance on vehicles with active registrations. The minimum state requirement for car insurance in Georgia is considered liability – only covering bodily injury and property damage. That is simply not enough to cover your vehicle.
You may want to consider getting collision insurance for coverage of car accident repairs, comprehensive insurance for car repairs from incidents not involving other vehicles, and uninsured motorist insurance for protection from drivers who do not have insurance and damage your car.
This Georgia driving law was put in place to ensure that Georgia motorists take the privilege of driving seriously and maintain financial responsibility for any damage or harm they cause while on the road.
Tip: Driving a vehicle while the registration and/or your driver’s license is suspended, revoked or cancelled is a criminal offense. Make sure all your car’s official documents are up to date and available via hard copy or mobile device.
Keep Your Hands Free
Texting and driving is banned in most states, in some manner. In Georgia, the 2018 Hands-Free law extends further than no texting and driving. Drivers are prohibited from holding their phones or having it supported by any part of their body when they are operating a motor vehicle on a public road. This includes when you are at a stop sign or stop light.
Georgia’s Slow Poke Law is a common driving rule across the nation. The left hand on any roadway that has two or more lanes is considered the fast lane. The Slow Poke law instructs drivers to move out of the left lane on a highway, even if you are going the speed limit, if a faster car approaches you. If not, you could be stopped for driving too slow in the left lane. Simply put, stay out of it if you’re a slower driver and change lanes carefully to let faster cars pass you by.
…But Not Too Fast
Speed limits keep everyone on the road safe and protected. In severe weather conditions or traffic, Driving at illegal speeds is a tremendous safety risk that can end in high fines and fatal car accidents. Georgia’s Super-Speeder Law punishes drivers convicted of speeding at 75-or-more on any two-lane roads or convicted of speeding at 85-and-over anywhere in Georgia with at least another $200 in state fees, in addition to any local fines already in effect in the jurisdiction where the speeding offense occurs. Georgia is very tough on high-risk drivers, so be sure to always acknowledge the speed limit and monitor warnings to slow down.
Move On Over
When you come across a vehicle with flashing lights on the highway or two-lane roads, move over or slow down to at least 10 mph below the speed limit. Georgia’s Move Over Law mandates drivers and motorists traveling in the lane directly adjacent to the shoulder to move-over one lane when emergency and utility vehicles are stopped on the side of the highway and operating in an official capacity. This state law covers all first responders vehicles (law enforcement, fire, EMS), utility vehicles, DOT vehicles, HERO Units and wreckers tending to an accident.
Lights On in the Rain
This is a pretty simple law to follow considering the features of automobiles manufactured in the last decade. When you find that you’re driving and experience limited visibility or rain is heavy, turn on your headlights. Many cars come with automatic headlights as the sun goes down or there is rain. Just in case you’re riding in something older and more sentimental, flip those headlights on in the evening or when your eyes aren’t able to see too far ahead.
Teen Drivers & Joshua’s Law
Teen driving can leave parents and loved ones worried about their young people on the road. Georgia’s “Joshua’s Law” requires all 16 year-olds and 17-year-olds applying for a Class D driver’s license to complete an approved driver education course and a significant number of supervised driving hours, day and night. Completion mandates a parent or guardian’s sworn verification that these driving requirements have been met. Learn more about the qualifications for a driver’s certificate of completion here.
Tip: Is your 17-year-old joining the U.S. military? They could be eligible for a Class C driver’s license without holding a Class D license for a year. Proof of military enlistment is required.
Still, No Open Containers
Team Brogdon wrote about this regarding a new Georgia law from 2020. While you can travel throughout Georgia with to-go beer, wine, and cocktails in your car from restaurants to your final destination – make sure to keep those beverages closed or you will receive a ticket.
Get a Ride, No DUIs
Rideshare has helped lower the number of DUI accidents and cases in almost every U.S. state. Georgia is no exception, but there are still offenders that could hurt others while on the road impaired and under the influence of alcohol or any drug. Any DUI or impaired driving offense will cause drivers to lose their license and pay high fees for disobeying the law. Coordinate a designated driver or be prepared to take a hired car so you don’t experience this punishment.
Wear Your Seatbelt
Seatbelts are the best way to protect yourself and others in a car accident. While we recommend all occupants of a car wear a seatbelt, Georgia’s Click It or Ticket law says only the driver and occupant of the front seat in a car are required to wear a seatbelt. There are exceptions to this rule and you can find out if they apply to your driving situation here.
At The Brogdon Firm, we always want to give you the tools to stay safe on the road and if necessary, recover from incidents with your car quickly. If you get into a car accident, you want the best results for your case and we can help you get the compensation that you deserve.
Contact us today to get started on a free consultation with us. We Listen. We are available. We understand and want to help.