When driving, it is important to pay attention to the road at all times. Simply checking your phone or even talking to a passenger in the vehicle can take your eyes off the act of driving. Only a few seconds of distracted driving can lead to an accident.
In California, it is illegal to drive while distracted. There are several rules in place that discourage drivers from engaging in this dangerous behavior. If you are driving on California roads, it’s important to be aware of these laws so that you can avoid a ticket and an accident.
Distracted driving refers to any behavior that takes your mind, eyes, or hands away from operating a motor vehicle. This dangerous behavior can cause serious accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,142 people died due to distracted driving in 2020 alone.
Below are just a few examples of distractions that could lead to an accident.
According to the California Vehicle Code, it is illegal for a driver to use a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers cannot call, read content, or write text messages while on a public road. However, hands-free systems are permissible for drivers over the age of 18.
To legally use a mobile device in a hands-free manner, the device must be mounted on the vehicle’s dashboard, center console, or in certain areas on your windshield. The device must not hinder your view of the road.
To operate the device, you can tap or swipe once to deactivate or activate various features. You cannot tap multiple times or type information into the phone. If you need to program the device, you must pull over in a safe location and come to a complete stop.
If a police officer catches you using a cell phone while driving, you may be issued a citation. First-offense citations will result in a $162 base fine, and this amount will increase for second and subsequent citations. You may also need to pay state-mandated court fees and other assessments on top of this penalty.
Distracted driving is both dangerous and illegal. To avoid the potential consequences, it is important to remain vigilant and concentrate on the road whenever you are operating a motor vehicle. However, not everyone upholds this duty of care.
If you were involved in an accident with a distracted driver, you may wonder to do next. California is a fault accident state, meaning that you could hold at fault drivers accountable for any accidents that they caused. In these situations, you could pursue legal action against the driver and recover compensation for any damages that you experienced.
After the accident, it is important to seek medical care as soon as possible and save all records related to your treatment. Once you get the care you need, contact a San Francisco car accident attorney. Your lawyer will carefully review your case and help you determine what steps you should take next.