A distraction is anything that takes a driver’s hands off the wheel, eyes off the road, or focus away from driving. Just one second of distraction can cause a crash and injure or kill people. While only certain distractions are illegal in California, all of them are dangerous.
Distracted driving is increasing in the state. In fact, 2016 saw a 2.2 percent increase of drivers using electronic devices from the previous year. The 2015 California Traffic Safety Survey found that nearly 60 percent of California drivers have been struck or nearly struck by a driver using a cell phone.
California Distracted Driving Law
Below is a breakdown of the laws regarding distracted driving in California.
- Hands-free only: California law prohibits driving with a cell phone in hand. However, drivers are permitted to use phones with hands-free tools, such as voice commands and mounting devices. It’s important to note that hands-free cell phone use may still cognitively distract a driver.
- One tap, but no more: Drivers may swipe or tap only once on their screens to activate or deactivate a feature or function. However, they may not touch their screens multiple times.
- Young drivers: Drivers under age 18 are prohibited from using a mobile device in any way. The hands-free exception does not apply to minors.
California law enables police officers to ticket people for other kinds of distracted driving if they are causing them to drive dangerously, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). Other distractions may not be illegal in California, but they are still unsafe.
Legal Help for Those Hurt by Distracted Driving in California
Whether or not the action is legal in California, driving distracted puts others at risk. If you were injured by a distracted driver, act quickly to protect your rights. Evidence and witnesses disappear over time. California also limits the time you have to seek compensation for your medical bills and other losses.
We welcome you to contact CaseyGerry at (619) 238-1811. When you call our firm, our two full-time investigators can get started immediately to preserve evidence and determine how the at-fault driver’s distracted behavior led to the crash that injured you.
For more than 70 years, our firm has been representing people hurt by others’ negligence. Let our experience and knowledge protect your rights.