Most people know that distracted driving is very dangerous — even those who do it. They also know that it’s against the law in California. But do you know what is specifically considered prohibited distracted driving in the Golden State?
What the law says
California’s distracted driving statute prohibits driving “while holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone or an electronic wireless communications device.” There are two exceptions:
- Using such a device through voice-activated, hands-free technology.
- Mounting the device on the windshield and activating or deactivating a function with a single tap or swipe of a finger.
Also, systems installed by the manufacturer into the vehicle, such as a GPS device or the radio, do not count as devices regulated by this law. Cellphones, laptops that can access wireless internet, pagers and broadband communications devices do count.
This rule applies whether the vehicle is in motion or not. It’s still a crime for a driver to text or otherwise use a cellphone with their hands while waiting at a red light or stuck in traffic. The distraction can still lead to a car accident, as research has proven that the effects of distracting yourself behind the wheel can last for several seconds after putting down the phone.
Not a cure for the harm distracted drivers cause
California lawmakers banning distracted driving in 2018 was a big step toward making the streets and highways safer. But it has not eliminated the problem. Distracted drivers cause crashes virtually every day in California, and Encinitas is no exception. You may never know when someone looking at their phone instead of the road will slam into your vehicle and seriously injure you.
If that ever happens, you could need help fighting for compensation for things the accident took away from you, like your health and independence. Insurance companies have ways of trying to get out of paying a justified claim, but an experienced personal injury attorney will know what to do to fight for a reasonable settlement or court verdict.