Hawk Law Group | May 9, 2022 | Car Accidents
No state, including Georgia, has outlawed eating and driving. So Georgia has not made it illegal to eat and drive. But you can still get a traffic citation for distracted or reckless driving if eating prevents you from driving safely. Here is an overview of laws that might apply to eating while driving in Georgia.
Georgia Traffic Laws
Georgia has no law that specifically mentions eating and driving. Thus, a police officer cannot stop you simply because the officer observes you eating while driving your car.
However, Georgia has several other traffic laws that might apply to eating and driving. For example, if you spill a hot drink and it causes you to swerve, a police officer could stop you and cite you for an improper lane change.
In this situation, the officer did not cite you because you were eating. Instead, the officer cited you for an illegal maneuver. The fact that your drink contributed to the maneuver will not excuse the violation.
What Are the Dangers of Eating and Driving?
You could commit a range of violations while eating and driving.
Some of the dangers of eating while driving include:
- Taking your hands off the wheel to eat
- Dropping food and spilling drinks
- Looking at your food or drink instead of the road
- Losing track of nearby vehicles
- Misjudging your speed or others’ speeds
- Delaying your reactions to road or traffic conditions
- Burning yourself
As a result of these behaviors, you could commit many traffic violations, including speeding, following too closely, and neglecting to use your turn signals.
Distracted Driving in Georgia
Distracted driving refers to any activity that takes your mind, eyes, or hands away from driving. In Georgia, many car accidents involve at least one distracted driver.
Georgia has a distracted driving law. This law requires drivers to exercise due care while driving and avoid any actions that distract the driver from driving safely. Although this requirement falls within Georgia’s hands-free cell phone law, the law covers all actions, including eating.
Thus, Georgia has not outlawed eating while driving. But it has outlawed eating and all other actions when they distract you from driving safely.
This makes a difference during enforcement. The officer must observe some other unsafe action to stop you from distracted driving. A police officer cannot pull you over simply for eating in your car. But the officer can stop you if you are driving in an unsafe manner while eating in your car.
A distracted driving ticket will cost you $50 for a first offense, $100 for a second offense, and $150 for a third or subsequent offense. You will also get one point added to your driving record for a first offense, two points added for a second offense, and three points added for a third or subsequent offense.
Reckless Driving in Georgia
Reckless driving happens when you drive with a reckless disregard for the safety of people or property. For eating and driving to qualify as reckless disregard, you would have to do something fairly outrageous, like causing a traffic accident.
Suppose that you hit a bicyclist because you were eating while driving. An officer may issue a citation for reckless driving for the bicycle accident.
Reckless driving comes with a fine of up to $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to 12 months. You will also have four points added to your driving record.
How Georgia’s Negligence Laws Affect Eating While Driving
If you eat while driving, you risk bearing liability for any accident you cause. Negligence happens when you fail to exercise reasonable care while driving, causing harm to another.
Most people understand the risks of eating while driving. A jury or claims adjuster could reasonably conclude you knew or should have known the dangers of eating while driving but proceeded anyway.
If you injured someone in the accident, you and your insurer will be liable for their damages. If you got injured, your comparative negligence could reduce or bar any compensation you could otherwise recover.
Contact the Car Accident Lawyers In the Central Savannah River Area at Hawk Law Group for Legal Assistance Today
For more information, please contact the Car Accident lawyers at Hawk Law Group at our nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve throughout the Central Savannah River Area and it’s surrounding areas:
We also serve in Edgefield County, SC.