Do you live in Georgia and rely on your phone’s GPS to get you from Point A to Point B? You probably know by now that Georgia is a handsfree-state, meaning all drivers must refrain from using a cell phone or tablet while driving as per the 2018 law, HB 673. This law was passed due to the realization that Georgia drivers are extremely distracted by their phones, causing traffic, accidents, and even fatalities. Here are some tips for getting around town with a mobile device as your chosen navigation method while still following the law!
- Install A Bluetooth System
Most cars on the market in this day and age have Bluetooth audio systems built into the car. However, if your car does not have a Bluetooth feature, there are ways around it! You can find a universal Bluetooth kit at most electronics stores, as well as online. The benefits of having a Bluetooth system installed in your car include being able to speak on the phone without holding the phone up to your ear, not breaking the law, and even being able to play your own music!
- Invest In A Phone Mount
Mounting your phone to your car is not as high-tech as it sounds; it is actually really simple! There are phone mounts in most stores these days, and they are affordable as well! Having a phone mount allows you to still use your smartphone’s GPS features, as well as answer a call. It is legal to touch the phone to make a call, answer a call, or hang up a call. Phone mounts can be placed on the windshield, dashboard or even in an air vent.
- Set Up Your Routes and Playlists BEFORE Getting On The Road
Being that the hands-free law in Georgia allows for you to use a GPS navigator (i.e. applications like Waze, Google Maps, etc.), as well as listen to streaming music which do not include videos, you CANNOT activate or program these applications while driving. Therefore, it is crucial that you set these up prior to getting on the road in order to avoid a hefty fine and points on your driver’s license.
Now, with these three tips still comes the rules and regulations of the law. It is imperative that you are aware of the conditions that come along with using a phone while driving—the most prominent being that it is ILLEGAL to hold your phone, text and read while driving.
Our lawyers at Haug Law Group are here to advise you the proper, and legal, ways to navigate your way around Georgia. We do not advise using a phone while driving unless you are following the law with proper preparation.
For more driving information and tips, visit our Distracted Driving: Types, Risk Factors, and Prevention and our Tips For Dealing With Atlanta’s Rush Hour Traffic blogs.