In this digital age, it is nice to have a connection to family and friends at your fingertips, by way of a smartphone. But, when you’re driving, those hands need to stay on the wheel. It is the law in California, after all.
At The Law Offices of J. Jeffrey Herman, our Ventura County car accident attorneys want to go over the laws, penalties, and what to look for in case you think you’re a victim of a distracted driver car accident.
An Overview Of Distracted Driving
Handheld cell phone use (talking or texting) is banned for all California drivers. And, for school bus drivers and those drivers under 18 years old, the use of cell phones is completely prohibited, which means you cannot even use hands-free technology, like a speakerphone or voice commands.
Despite that, distracted drivers are prevalent on California roads. A total of 7.6% of all drivers in a recent study displayed distracted driving as a result of electronic device use. And, according to the latest data, the California Department of Motor Vehicles reported more than 426,000 handheld cell phone and texting convictions – most of those incidents between the ages of 16 and 24. Here is how it works:
The first offense for a driver in California cited for using a cell phone while driving without a hands-free mode is a $20 base fine; a second or subsequent base fine is $50, and, after assessments, each offense could exceed $150 and $250, respectively. Unlawful cell phone violations after July 1, 2021, will also result in a one-point traffic violation if it occurred within 36 months of a prior violation. Emergency service drivers are exempt from this phone ban.
California’s current law prohibits the use of all wireless devices, which covers functions, such as text messaging, browsing the web, GPS, using apps, and shuffling through music videos, social media, photos, and more while behind the wheel. The same penalties as the above apply.
Other distractions that can lead to reckless driving charges are any actions that cause you to remove your hands from the wheel, like eating, drinking coffee, changing clothes, grooming, reaching for the radio or something on the floor, or just talking distractedly with passengers. Any of these distractions put both the passengers and other drivers in danger. Even taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds could be deadly. The same penalties as the above apply.
Have You Been The Victim Of A Distracted Driver?
Distracted driving is one of the top 5 causes of car accidents. Simi Valley is ranked 9th in the country for car crashes, which is 40 percent more than the national average. If you think you’ve experienced an accident because of the negligence of a distracted driver, we’re here to help you recover the compensation you deserve because of your injuries and suffering. Our experienced attorneys at The Law Offices of J. Jeffrey Herman, our Ventura County car accident attorney will work diligently for you, as you work to recover.