Georgia’s driving laws are called the “Rules of the Road,” and as any Georgia traffic lawyer can tell you the Rules exist for a reason—to keep drivers and their families safe. When a driver breaks the rules, those actions have consequences. Drivers who cause accidents and injure other motorists are responsible for their negligence. Negligence means that the responsible driver failed to take reasonable care while he was driving. In addition to simple negligence, drivers can also be held accountable under negligence per se. Negligence per se means the driver failed to follow a specific driving law, and because of that violation of that specific law the driver is negligent. Most accidents are avoidable, and most accidents are the result of a driver’s negligence per se. When a good Georgia traffic lawyer files an injury lawsuit because of a car accident, he should consult Georgia’s Rules of the Road and list, by legal citation, the violated rules. Some of the more commonly violated laws that we see are below:
Failure to Stop: O.C.G.A. § 40-6-72, stop signs and yield signs
Except when directed to proceed by a police officer, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line or, if there is no stop line, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if there is no crosswalk, at the point nearest the intersecting roadway where the driver has a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway before entering it. After stopping, the driver shall yield the right of way to any vehicle in the intersection or approaching on another roadway so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time when such driver is moving across or within the intersection or junction of roadways. Coming to a complete stop should be obvious, but just because it is obvious it doesn’t mean all drivers do it. When a driver refuses to obey the law and causes a wreck, a Georgia traffic lawyer will file suit and make sure the driver doesn’t forget to stop the next time he comes to a stop sign.
Improper Lane Change: O.C.G.A § 40-6-123, turning movements and required signals
A signal of intention to turn right or left or change lanes when required shall be given continuously for a time sufficient to alert the driver of a vehicle proceeding from the rear in the same direction or a driver of a vehicle approaching from the opposite direction.
Failure to Yield Right of Way: O.C.G.A § 40-6-71, vehicle turning left
The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, private road, or driveway shall yield the right of way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close thereto as to constitute an immediate hazard. Defense attorneys sometimes try and shift responsibility away from negligent drivers and to other motorists who they say waved their client through. The law is, and a good Georgia traffic lawyer understands how to effectively win this argument in court, that when you want to turn on to a road you must wait for all traffic to pass. Making excuses that you were told it was safe to drive out by someone else in a different car is irresponsible.
Failure to Follow Traffic Light: O.C.G.A § 40-6-20, obedience to traffic-control devices
The driver of any vehicle shall obey the instructions of an official traffic-control device applicable thereto, placed in accordance with this chapter, unless otherwise directed by a police officer, subject to the exceptions granted the driver of an authorized emergency vehicle in this chapter. Remarkably, one of the most common calls our firm receives as a Georgia traffic lawyer are from injured passengers who say that the driver of the car they were a passenger in, tried to speed through a yellow light. You may not know this, but if you are a passenger in a vehicle, you can still recover against the driver of your vehicle.
Failure to Maintain Lane: O.C.G.A. § 40-6-48, driving on roadway laned for traffic
A vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made with safety. While veering out of your lane can sometimes happens, we see it happen more frequently in cases of truck drivers who travel long distances. As a top Georgia traffic lawyer, we understand that there are additional rules beyond O.C.G.A. § 40-6-48 that can apply in cases of commercial vehicle drivers who fail to maintain their lane.
Failure to Keep a Safe Distance: O.C.G.A § 40-6-49, following too closely
The driver of a motor vehicle shall not follow another vehicle more closely than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such vehicles and the traffic upon and the condition of the highway. This rule is obvious yet remarkably it is so often violated. The simple solution is: keep a safe distance when you drive.
Dangerous Driving: O.C.G.A. § 40-6-390, reckless driving
Any person who drives any vehicle in reckless disregard for the safety of persons or property commits the offense of reckless driving.
Failure to Yield: O.C.G.A. § 40-6-73, vehicle entering roadway
The driver of a vehicle about to enter or cross a roadway from any place other than another roadway shall yield the right of way to all vehicles approaching on the roadway to be entered or crossed. As an experienced and knowledgeable Georgia traffic lawyer, we know how to apply the various rules of the road to win your case.