10 Essential Georgia Driving Laws Every Motorist Should Know

Driver’s Ed might feel like a distant memory, but Georgia driving laws are updated more often than you might think. If you’ve been driving for a while, you might not be aware of some of the most vital Georgia driving laws and their conditions. Here are the top 10 driving laws you need to know to remain a safe and informed Georgia driver and avoid higher insurance premiums.

10 Georgia Driving Laws You Should Know About

1. You’re Required by Law to Have Car Insurance

Georgia law requires all drivers to have a certain amount of car insurance. However, many people don’t know that the minimum requirement for car insurance in Georgia does NOT cover their car, passengers, and may not even cover the other driver if you’re in an accident.

The state minimum requirement for auto insurance is only 25/50/25. This means that every driver is required to have at least $25,000 worth of bodily liability insurance per person, $50,000 of bodily liability insurance per accident, and $25,000 of property damage insurance. Again, bodily injury liability and property damage coverage doesn’t cover damages to your car or the injuries to people in your vehicle. If you want coverage for your vehicle, you may want to consider collision and comprehensive coverage for your auto insurance policy.

Additionally, Georgia’s minimum coverage limits may not be enough to completely cover the other driver if you’re in an accident. If they sue you and you’re found liable for more than your insured limit, you could be on the hook. That’s why you should also consider increasing the amount of liability and property damage coverage on your policy or consider personal umbrella insurance.

2. Hands-Free Driving

In 2018, Georgia passed a hands-free driving law, making it illegal to simply hold an electronic device while operating a car. This law extends farther than restricting texting and driving. In most cases before, police would not be able to prove that a driver was texting and driving instead of simply holding the phone to speak.

However, this doesn’t mean that it is completely illegal to use a device while driving in Georgia. On the contrary, it is still legal on the road to use:

  • Hands-free technology to talk on the phone
  • Speech-to-Text to send messages
  • GPS
  • Smartwatch
  • Earpiece (but not headphones)
  • Your phone to report an accident, medical emergency, fire, crime, or hazardous road condition
  • A radio, CB radio, subscription-based emergency communication device, prescribed medical device, or in-vehicle security system
  • Your phone while your car is put in park (NOT stopped at a stop sign/light)

3. Don’t Be a “Slowpoke”

Georgia’s “Slowpoke Law” requires you to move over if a faster car approaches while you’re in the left lane on a highway. Staying in the left lane when you’re not the fastest vehicle can result in a fine. Keeping traffic flowing smoothly reduces the chances of accidents and thus keeps your insurance rates lower.

4. Slow Down/Move Over

This law mandates that you slow down or move over for police, emergency responders, tow truck drivers, and garbage trucks. Failing to do so can result in fines and increases in your insurance rates. Always move over or slow down to at least 10 mph below the speed limit when you see flashing blue, orange, or yellow lights.

5. Headlights in the Rain

This law is more than just a safety recommendation. Georgia law requires cars to turn their headlights on in the rain, even in the daytime. Headlights can increase your ability to see other cars in the rain, but it can also help other cars see you. Even if you have automatic headlights, make sure that they’ve turned on. Also, make sure that your taillights are operational and visible as part of your regular vehicle maintenance.

6. Treat Out-of-Service Traffic Lights as Four-Way Stops

If a traffic light is out, treat the intersection as a four-way stop. The first driver to arrive has the right of way. This helps prevent accidents, which can keep your insurance rates from increasing.

7. Joshua’s Law

This law is essentially the series of Georgia-specific requirements to get a license. It generally focuses on proper driving education for a teen to get their permit through a graduated license program. Most states have their own versions of this law. However, Joshua’s law is specific to Georgia’s requirements regarding written and field exams for drivers starting at the age of 15 with a learner’s/instructional permit.

8. Click It or Ticket

Georgia enforces strict seatbelt laws. Not wearing a seatbelt can result in a hefty fine. Seatbelts save lives and prevent injuries, reducing the number of insurance claims and keeping rates lower.

9. You CAN Drive Without Shoes

While it’s a common myth that driving barefoot is illegal, Georgia has no such law. As long as driving barefoot doesn’t affect your driving ability, you’re in the clear.

10. No Open Containers

It’s illegal to have an open container of alcohol in your car, even if you’re not the one drinking. An open container can lead to fines and an officer conducting sobriety tests, potentially resulting in DUI charges. Avoiding this can help maintain your clean driving record and lower insurance premiums.

Summing Up

These laws are crucial for safe driving in Georgia and can help you avoid higher insurance premiums. Safe and knowledgeable drivers often qualify for discounts and lower rates. Our insurance team at Atlanta Insurance can help you find the best coverage at the best rates. Contact us today for customized quotes and learn how you can save on your Georgia auto insurance. Give us a call, fill out our online form, or start a live chat with an agent now!