People are so attached to their cell phones today. It’s not uncommon to see a lot of drivers talking or texting while driving. It’s illegal in almost every state, yet you see it every day. Did you know that the National Safety Council attributes 1.6 million crashes a year due to distracted drivers using cell phones? However, it’s tough to determine an exact number, since it’s not easy to prove, and most drivers won’t admit it. Here’s what the law says in California.
Drivers Over 18 Years of Age
In 2008, California drivers over the age of 18 were prohibited from using handheld devices while driving. According to the California Vehicle Code, drivers must use a hands-free device. Furthermore, they cannot take their hands off the wheel while driving for any reason.
According to our car accident lawyers, citations issued for cell phone use while driving run into six figures. Driver’s will often ignore the Vehicle Code. They run the risk of getting ticketed, or even worse, being involved in an accident.
Accidents can happen quickly to anyone at any time. Using a cell phone for talking or texting while driving increases your odds of getting into an accident.
What About Drivers That Are Under 18 Years of Age?
The California Vehicle Code is stricter with drivers who are under 18 years of age. They are not allowed to use cell phones at all, even with hands-free options in place.
Why Is Texting Especially Bad?
Texting on a cell phone requires one hand off the wheel, which is illegal in California.Additionally, it requires that you take your eyes off the road, which is very dangerous. Some feel that when we banned talking on cell phones, we made the situation worse as people began texting while driving.
What Should I Do If I’m Involved in An Accident and Suspect the Other Driver Was Using Their Cell Phone?
Be sure to call 911 and have the police come to the scene of the accident. If you can find any witnesses that might have seen the other driver engaging in this type of distracted driving, ask them to talk to the police. Get their contact information, if possible. Ask the police to make a note of the other driver’s negligence in the report.
After you contact the police and file the accident report, get treatment for your injuries. Even if it doesn’t seem that bad, it’s better to get checked out. Sometimes you are in shock after an accident and don’t realize that you’ve been hurt.
Don’t delay in hiring an auto accident attorney as soon as possible. Ask for recommendations, and hire someone local. Many personal injury attorneys specialize in car accidents and will offer you a free initial consultation. If you want to do some research, check them out through the California State Bar Association.
What Else Should I Know?
There’s a reason that using your cell phone while driving is illegal. A responsible California driver is committed to not texting when sharing the road with other drivers because it is dangerous. Folks are putting themselves and others at risk when they engage in this negligent behavior. For more information, seek representation from our auto accident lawyers.