Soon after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) banned commercial large truck drivers and bus drivers from using any hand-held cell phone while operating the vehicle, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made its recommendation to the nation’s 50 states to ban all non-emergency, portable electronic devices, including hands-free for all drivers. The NTSB made this recommendation following the conclusion that the initial cause of a devastating accident in Missouri was caused by cell phone use.
What started as a rear-end collision turned into a fatal multi-car pile -up when the 19-year-old driver of a GMC Sierra pickup truck rear-ended a trailer-less Volvo truck-tractor. This initial crash was followed by two more as a 71-passenger school bus rear-ended the pickup truck and then was rear-ended itself by a second, 72-passenger school bus. This accident resulted in two deaths and 35 injuries. The driver of the GMC Sierra had sent/received 11 text messages in the 11 minutes preceding the accident.
Georgia currently has a texting ban for all drivers and an all-cell phone ban for school bus drivers and drivers under 18 years old. The texting ban, which was implemented earlier this year, is the latest cell phone law for the state. According to CBS Atlanta, there is both support and opposition to the NTSB recommendation in Georgia. While some residents have seen how cell phones distract drivers from attending to the task at hand, others feel it is an imposition on private rights. When asked about the likelihood of such a total ban being passed in Georgia, a State Senator responded with pessimism. It is believed unlikely that such a law would pass, but state lawmakers are open to discussing the bill for a total ban, if introduced. There are no plans to enact additional cell phone laws as of yet in Georgia.
Whether or not Georgia has a total cell phone ban does not mean a driver should casually use his or her cell phone while driving. It has been proven to cause serious accidents and, as such, a distracted driver who causes an injury accident may still be held liable for victims’ losses. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Georgia collision involving a cell phone, the experienced lawyers at The Law Offices of Wayne Grant, P.C., can help you pursue compensation from the at-fault party. To speak to one of our attorneys, call us today for a consultation at (404) 995-3955 or toll-free at (866) 249-5513.