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California and distracted driving laws

On Behalf of | Jul 17, 2022 | Car Accidents |

When texting first became popular, people did not think much of engaging in it while driving. In time, reports about accidents raised awareness about the dangers of taking eyes, hands and attention from where they belong and using valuable concentration to send messages from behind the wheel. Regrettably, people continue to text and drive even after high-profile incidents of fatal driving-texting accidents. So, states like California imposed rules and regulations. However, enforcement becomes necessary to ensure people follow them.

California and texting-while-driving rules

California passed new cell phone laws in 2020, and the regulations went into effect in July 2021. The new rules prove far stricter than previous ones. Likely, the tougher rules seek to discourage behavior that presents dangers.

The statute, detailed in 23123.5(a) VC, encompasses California’s distracted driving law. With few exceptions, the law bans the use of handheld cell phones. The rules also regulate the use of hands-free phones, limiting such use to adults 18 years of age or older.

If the police see someone using a handheld phone, they may stop the vehicle and issue a ticket. Doing so could prevent an accident, but the police cannot be everywhere. With millions of drivers commuting 24/7, expect some to talk or text while driving. Accidents might then occur.

Distracted driving and collisions

Distracted driving often causes motor vehicle accidents. Not surprisingly, when a driver’s attention goes elsewhere, the driver might not stop fast enough to avoid an accident. Hitting another car may have terrible consequences, but things could be worse upon hitting a bicyclist or pedestrian. For example, hitting an older adult crossing the street might result in a fatality.

Persons hurt by a distracted driver may file a personal injury suit to cover their losses. A wrongful death suit might be necessary when the accident causes someone’s demise.