Distracted driving is a common problem in California and the rest of the country, and each state has adopted laws to combat this problem. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, it is illegal to use a cell phone or other electronic device in the hand while driving. Drivers can use the hands-free method with voice or speakerphone commands, but the device must not be in the hands. It is also illegal for any driver under the age of 18 to use a cell phone at all while driving.
Texting, talking or dialing can increase the risk of a crash by three times. Behaviors like reading, grooming, eating, changing clothes, speaking with passengers and reaching for objects in the car can also lead to two different tickets: speed unsafe for conditions or reckless driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2017, distracted driving led to over 3,100 deaths. No one should drive unless the vehicle and the road have their full attention. Even taking the eyes off the road at 55 miles per hour for five seconds is relative to driving 100 yards with the eyes closed.
Teenagers are encouraged to talk to friends who are driving while distracted and discourage the practice. Parents can lead by example and avoid driving distracted themselves. They can also speak to their teen about distracted driving and the deadly consequences. Teens should be reminded that violating these laws can lead to a suspended or delayed license.
As state and federal officials work to pass laws that discourage distracted driving, those injured by a distracted driver face problems caused by the poor decision making of another. They may benefit from speaking to a personal injury attorney about their injury and obtaining compensation for things like medical bills and property repair.